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Liquor restriction project receives anti-crime award

Media Release

29 October 2009

A collaborative liquor restriction program from a small town in the Kimberley region of Western Australia has won national recognition at the 2009 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA).

The Fitzroy Crossing Liquor Restriction – 'Kartiya Future, Brighter Future' program advises locals and visitors through signage that Fitzroy Crossing is a restricted alcohol town, with licensed premises limiting their sales of full-strength alcoholic drinks until after 5pm.

Kartiya Future, Brighter Future received a National Certificate and cash award of $10,000, which was presented by Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor at Parliament House in Canberra today.

Fitzroy Crossing is home to 3,500 people, 80 percent of whom are Indigenous, and has a significant crime and Indigenous suicide problem. To address these issues, the program was developed by the local community in conjunction with Western Australia Police.

Western Australia Police Commissioner, Karl O’Callaghan, who accepted the award on behalf of the program, said an evaluation report prepared by the University of Notre Dame showed there had been an 11 percent reduction in drink driving offences and a 28 percent reduction in the total number of domestic violence reports in the first six months of the program.

"The success of this program is largely due to the generous community support and the dedication of the police working at Fitzroy Crossing," the Commissioner said.

"Liquor restriction enforcement has provided a better way of life in Fitzroy Crossing, whose residents are now developing their community because, for the first time, they can see a future for themselves and their children.

"I'm very proud of the role police officers and staff at Fitzroy play in this program but I also want to pay tribute to the brave community leaders who pushed hard for the liquor restrictions to save their town and to the WA Director of Liquor Licensing for granting them that opportunity."

Minister O'Connor said Fitzroy Crossing was providing an example of how community ownership and cooperation are the keys to successful crime prevention programs.

"For the first time in some years this award will bring a great deal of pride and courage to the people of Fitzroy Crossing, who have been making a concerted effort to provide safer homes for their families."

The ACVPA is a joint initiative of the Australian, State and Territory governments which rewards outstanding community-based projects that prevent or reduce crime and violence.

Eight ground-breaking projects involving young offenders and youth at risk, Indigenous communities, religious congregations, police and community health and safety organisations have won national recognition this year.

For more information about the Australian Community Violence Prevention Awards visit http://www.aic.gov.au/crime_community/acvpa.aspx

PROJECT OVERVIEW: FITZROY CROSSING LIQUOR RESTRICTION – KARTIYA FUTURE, BRIGHTER FUTURE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Fitzroy Crossing Liquor Restriction Enforcement – Kartiya Future, Brighter Future, WA

Developed and delivered by Marinwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resource and Legal Centre and Western Australia Police, with the support of many prominent Indigenous elders, the project restricts the sale of alcohol from licensed premises.

Liquor Restriction Enforcement has provided a better way of life in Fitzroy Crossing, whose mostly Indigenous residents are now developing their community because for the first time, they can visualise a future for themselves and their children.

Key outcomes:

  • A 28% reduction in domestic violence reported to local police
  • Less alcoholism, less violence and improving health in the community
Media contacts: Scott Kelleher 0418 159525, Caterina Giugovaz 0418 221798.
For detail on the awards visit www.aic.gov.au/crime_community/acvpa.aspx