The McGowan Government’s Protected Entertainment Precincts (PEPs) laws have reached an important milestone, passing through the Legislative Assembly.
It is expected the Liquor Control Amendment (Protected Entertainment Precincts) Bill 2022 will be debated in Legislative Council in the next fortnight, with the laws set to be in place during summer.
PEPs will be established in Northbridge-Perth, Fremantle, Scarborough, Hillarys and Mandurah – banning violent offenders and perpetrators of antisocial behaviour from these precincts.
Mandatory exclusion from these areas will apply to anyone convicted of various violent and sexual offences, along with drink spiking offences, for a period of five years after they are released from prison.
Breaches of the exclusion face a penalty of up to five years imprisonment and a $12,000 fine.
Police can also issue an order to exclude someone for up to six months, and further apply for an order of up to five years.
Indicative boundaries were created for the five precincts following advice, and further refinement will take place with local governments to finalise the precinct boundaries.
PEPs are named in honour of Giuseppe “Pep” Raco, the victim of an unprovoked one-punch attack in Northbridge in July 2020.
The McGowan Government started developing the Bill following a campaign from the Raco family to strengthen laws around violent offences in entertainment precincts.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Every Western Australian deserves to be able to come home to their family from work or a night out in an entertainment precinct.
“These laws will ensure violent thugs will be banned from areas like Northbridge for five years, following their release from prison.
“This legislation was developed in honour of Pep Raco and in response to Mrs Raco’s campaign for justice.”
As stated by Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti:
“For too long we have witnessed incidents and heard stories about antisocial behaviour or violence in entertainment precincts.
“Tragedies have occurred, and families have been broken. Now the State Government is doing something about it.
“I would like to extend my gratitude to the range of stakeholders who have provided input and feedback on the Bill since it was first proposed.”