Fears that proposed laws on WA entertainment venues will see indigenous people unfairly targeted

A coalition of Aboriginal community groups and homeless services have written to the WA government expressing concern about the proposed new laws for Sheltered Entertainment Precincts.

Represented by Social Reinvestment WA, the organizations fear the laws disproportionately affect indigenous people and the vulnerable, and have called on the government to address the points of concern.

Aboriginal Legal Service WA (ALS WA) also said it had not been consulted and had serious fears about the impact the Protected Entertainment Enclosure (PEP) laws could have.

The organisation’s executive director, Dennis Eggington, said there was little evidence that PEP laws prevented violence and he had no doubt that Aboriginal people would be many of those affected by the bans.

“This state has to start treating First Nations people as equals, and it’s a terrible, terrible shame that in 2022, after everything we’ve been through, we now have these orders in place,” he said.

Dennis Eggington is concerned that the new laws will harm indigenous peoples. (ABC News: Sarah Collard)

The laws proposed by the state government will create five precincts in Perth-Northbridge, Mandurah, Hillarys, Scarborough and Fremantle, where people can be banned from entering.

They aim to reduce violence in WA nightspots and will go before Parliament later this year following stakeholder consultations.

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