Plan to Halt Liquor Violence Urges 1am Lockouts

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The debate is still raging about how to stop the violent crimes being committed in many entertainment districts such as Kings Cross. Many strategies and plans are being proposed by authorities and members of government etc. One such plan involves charging an extra late trading fee to venues, which can be used in the fight against alcohol fuelled violence.

This 10 point strategy was put forward by The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education. This plan would involve a review of current late trading licences and greater restrictions on certain alcohol. The group also advocates a trial closure time for all venues, state-wide of 3am. A 1am lockout would see patrons being refused entrance into venues after 1am.

The foundation for Alcohol Research and Education also outlined in their plan stricter controls on the amount of people allowed into a venue and harsher stance on the inappropriate discounting and promotion of alcohol. Other points suggested include limiting the number of drinks a person can buy, to four at a time.  The government is apparently looking into the foundation’s plan.

I came across this informative post on Smh.com that explains in more detail:

LATE trading venues would pay ”risk-based” licence fees to help cover the cost of combating alcohol-related violence under a plan being pitched to the state government by an Australian alcohol research body.

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education also wants a moratorium on new late-night liquor licences, restrictions on the sale of some types of alcohol, and a 12-month, statewide trial of maximum 3am closing times and 1am lockouts.

The proposals are part of a 10-point plan to reduce alcohol-related harm in NSW delivered to the Premier, Barry O’Farrell, on Thursday.

Not enough … Micheal Thorn, Foundation for Alcohol and Research Education Executive wants the O’Farrell government to ” go further”.

The plan is being pitched following the announcement by the government last week of proposed alcohol restrictions in Kings Cross in response to the fatal assault on the teenager Thomas Kelly.

They include a ban on shots, doubles and use of glassware after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and mandatory responsible service of alcohol marshalls in venues.

But the foundation’s chief executive, Michael Thorn, is urging Mr O’Farrell to ”go further” and work with alcohol policy experts. ”Now is the time for the Premier to implement positive alcohol policy reforms that would address the concerns of the wider community and result in a safer and healthier NSW,” he said.

The report proposes a risk-based licence-fee structure based on a venue’s trading hours and capacity. The fees would be used to pay for extra late-night transport and crowd control. Similar schemes are in place in Queensland, Victoria and the ACT.

The proposed trial of 3am closing and lockouts, whereby patrons are unable to enter premises after 1am, is based on a similar scheme introduced in Newcastle in 2008 which led to a 37 per cent reduction in alcohol-related assaults in its first year.

The foundation also wants strict controls on venue density, a clampdown on inappropriate discounting and promotion of alcohol, and a limit on the number of drinks able to be bought at any one time to four per person.

Saxon Smith, the NSW vice-president of the Australian Medical Association and member of the Last Drinks coalition of emergency service workers, said the government should take ”a serious look” at the plan.

”The plan includes the measures frontline emergency service workers have been saying are needed for a long time now – lock-outs and reduced trading hours – as well as drinks restrictions like those already announced in Kings Cross,” Dr Smith said.

But the NSW chief executive of the Australian Hotels Association, Paul Nicolaou, said there was no need to ”to throw a blanket over NSW and tuck everybody in by a certain time”.

He questioned the need for a risk-based licence structure.

”Let’s see zero tolerance and highly visible, effective policing strategies rather than gouging further fees from venues across NSW,” he said.

A spokesman for Mr O’Farrell said the plan would be considered by the committee formulating a plan of management for Kings Cross.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/plan-to-halt-liquor-violence-urges-1am-lockouts-20120824-24rs7.html#ixzz24ajoy2Yx

 

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