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Monday, January 30, 2023

Tom Penglis: Dramatic expansion of police powers is very concerning

Over the past 18 months, the McGowan Government has used its parliamentary majority to introduce laws that drastically increase police powers without adequate checks and balances. WA Police have had an inappropriate degree of influence in the drafting of these laws.

The latest example of this is the Government’s recent amendments to the Liquor Control Act (PEP Act).

The PEP Act gives WA Police the power to ban people from various precincts — Northbridge-Perth, Fremantle, Scarborough, Mandurah, and Hillarys — for up to six months. These “exclusion orders” can be issued even if someone merely acts in an anti-social, disorderly, or offensive manner.

If someone wants to challenge an exclusion order, they cannot do so by appealing to a court.

Instead, they must appeal to the Liquor Commission, even though an exclusion order can be issued for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with alcohol or licensed premises.

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