FARE Calls for Limits to City Booze Outlets in SA
A parliamentary committee has recently heard that new policies should be considered to limit the number of venues serving alcoholic drinks or selling take-away liquor in any one area.
Evidence provided by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) called for “alcohol density policies” to be introduced to all liquor licence categories.
The Social Development Committee has been examining the sale and consumption of alcohol in South Australia and has also released an interim report on the matter.
FARE is an independent charity group who have suggested 2 models which have been used in other countries to limit the concentration of liquor outlets in any one area. The group wants the same approach implemented here in SA.
Some of the places where a similar approach is in practice are England, Wales and New York. The following excerpt from an article on News.com.au explains:
Saturation zones, used in England and Wales since 2005, restrict the number of new liquor licences granted in an area where there is already a high density of outlets. This could be applied to the Adelaide CBD, for example.
Cluster zones, used in New York, prohibit new liquor licences within a set distance of existing licensed venues or other buildings, such as schools, hospitals or churches.
In New York, new licences cannot be issued within a 150m radius of three existing licensed venues. This approach would more likely be used in Adelaide’s suburbs.
The committee report cites research showing assaults are more likely to happen near licensed premises than elsewhere.
“What is not evident is whether there is a threshold level of density of alcohol outlets where assaults become a serious problem and what effect each additional alcohol outlet has on the number of assaults,” the report states.
According to the Office of Liquor and Gambling statistics, there are 6120 liquor licenses in operation in South Australia. There have been studies which recently proved that children from areas where there are more liquor outlets are more likely to indulge in alcohol consumption and binge drinking in particular, than their counterparts from less alcohol outlet infested areas.
One of the members of the committee, Frances Bedford said that in her electorate there was proposal to build a new bottle shop very close to a hotel and a liquor store, in Florey.
And the branch general manager of the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) SA, there has already been a surge in the availability of liquor licenses. He failed to comment on whether he believed more restrictive policies were necessary to overcome this high density problem.
The article on News.com.au went on to explain:
Business Services and Consumers Minister John Rau said larger operators applying for liquor licences already had to prove there was demand for a liquor outlet in an area.
Opposition business services and consumers spokesman Steven Griffiths said a Liberal government would not look to reduce the number of licensed venues in entertainment precincts but would aim to better integrate liquor licensing and planning rules.