Alcohol related violence in Perth has escalated to the point where a weekend scarcely passes without death or serious injury. The latest incident, described in the article, Ocean Beach Hotel Death | Sunday session drinking, caps the concern. Ironically, a lot of binge-drinking seems to be stimulated by either having too much money or not enough!
Many Perth old-timers are alarmed at the speed with which violence has taken this community by the throat. While much of it is alcohol and drug related, there are other pressures that add to the mix – infrastructure not keeping up with boom-time population stimulation, un-affordable housing, traffic congestion and isolation.
Perth is having to come to terms with the fact that small country town ambience no longer provides the solutions to “big city” issues. I dare say the “big three” on the east coast have faced these challenges for a little while. Debate will revolve around whether a national strategy or small community based initiatives or a combination of both is best suited to respond.