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From lock-up to sobering up: Victoria grapples with public drunkenness reform

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Andrews government has delayed reform amid need to find compromise between police and Indigenous advocacy groups

Mereana Richards has spent almost a decade providing warm beds, showers and hot meals to locals in Port Hedland – in Western Australia’s Pilbara region – who have had too much to drink. As the coordinator of a sobering-up service, run by an Indigenous-led not-for-profit, Richards runs the centre that is a safe haven for alcohol-affected locals.

“Sometimes they are legless, sometimes they don’t want to listen or have a shower or do anything,” she says.

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