24.05.2012 - 24.05.2012
We lived in Perth where there are no restrictions and you can buy any type of alcohol on any day but when we moved to Sweden we thought the Systembolaget restrictions of not being able to buy alcohol after 3pm on a Saturday or not at all on a Sunday was strange. But the Kimberley has even more strange restrictions. As blogged before, Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing don't sell any alcohol stronger than 2% light beer at any time and in the Northern Kimberley there are no bottle shops at all. In Derby it is less restrictive with the bottle shops opening at noon until 8pm but you can buy anything you want. Wyndham and Kununarra have very strange restictions. You can only buy two bottles of wine per person and one carton of beer per person, but the wine can only be bought from 2pm whilst the beer can be bought from noon. What difference the two hours make to those people that need to be protected against alcohol abuse is not clear to us.
These restrictions makes stocking up for the next 10 days, when we will be in the bush again, very difficult. We will therefore be buying our wine and beer in installments over three days before we leave Kununurra on Sunday.
Update after visiting the Northern Territory: NT has a much more pragmatic and practical approach to the control of alcohol abuse and does not restrict the amount of alcohol you can buy but you have to produce your ID (Australian drivers licence) which gets scanned and recorded. They have a list of registered alcohol abusers and they cannot buy alcohol.
Update after visiting northern Queensland: Queensland's alcohol restrictions are a mix of WA and NT. In certain areas, mainly aboriginal communities, you can't buy more than 30 beers or 1 bottle of wine per day and you have to produce your ID to be recorded.