11.3 C
Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Lismore cracks down on boozy troublemakers

Latest News

All fired up: former magistrate fumes at news of the world

How does one react to news of environmental vandalism, rampant domestic violence and mutilation of women without anger or distress?

Other News

Cartoon of the week – 12 May, 2021

Letters to the editor We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters...

Free mental health workshop for Byron businesses

Business owners in Byron Shire are invited to attend a free 'Healthy Mindset' workshop aimed at providing them with resources and tools to improve mental health and wellbeing, as well as the opportunity to connect with other business owners.

How to exercise more voting rights in council elections

Being a property owner in NSW isn’t just a financial advantage, it also means you have more rights to vote than non-property owners.

Diverse and resilient

Andrya Hart, The Channon After statements and actions by some Rous councillors, I am left wondering how many refusals to...

Humans suck

Hannah Grace, Ocean Shores I heard on the local news late this afternoon (April 20) that a 370kg tuna ...

Development of the Belongil Spit

Jo Faith, Newtown I was gobsmacked when I read that the ‘Greens’ mayor’s parting gift was to aid privatisation of land...

Luis Feliu

Pubs, clubs and other licensed venues in the Lismore area will ban troublemakers in a crackdown on alcohol-fuelled violence which kicks off today.

This morning at Lismore Workers Club, the city’s Liquor Accord launched a barring policy to encourage acceptable behaviour and help in the safety of patrons on licensed premises.

Venues will take a unified approach in suspending bad-behaving patrons who refuse to leave licensed premises when asked, from three months to life.

The scheme will be evaluated after three months to see how effective it is.

Liquor Accord chairman Steve Bortolin said the policy would ensure consistency when dealing with patrons involved in alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour in or around licensed premises.

The policy applies at all member venues, and informs patrons of the length of time they will be banned for a range of incidents.

‘For example, under the policy, a patron causing malicious damage in the immediate vicinity of an accord venue may be banned from that venue for six months,’ Mr Bortolin said.

‘This policy promotes individual responsibility and sets an acceptable standard of behaviour in and around all of our local licensed venues.

‘It spreads the message to troublemakers that our local community will not accept their bad behaviour’.

Mr Bortolin said Lismore Liquor Accord had implemented many strategies over the years to reduce the impact of alcohol consumption on the local community.

This is in contrast to Byron Bay, where that town’s liquor accord members are pushing instead for the installation of CCTV surveillance cameras to try and deter alcohol-fuelled violence, which has put the tourist destination on the map for the wrong reasons.

But neither Byron Council, nor police, want to pay for or monitor the cameras. Byron mayor Jan Barham, backed a majority of councillors, the police union and doctors, prefers earlier closing times, lockouts and other restrictions of pubs and nightclubs to tackle the problem.

Byron Bay, dubbed by police as the fourth most violent area in the state, has over 50 licensed venues in the CBD alone.

CCTV not the answer

Cr Barham says cameras will not prevent crime or alcohol-fuelled violence but act mostly for evidence-gathering.

‘Cameras are not about public safety, but about police wanting evidence for a prosecution for vandalism or robberies.

‘It’s misleading for Byron United (business chamber) and police to put out there that cameras will solve the problem of acolohol-fuelled violence: I don’t believe that, they should argue it out with the police association which says earlier closing times and restrictions work to curb such violence.’

Cr Barham, a state Greens MLC, said she was also working on organising another state alcohol summit similar to one held in 2003.

But she said recommendations from that summit were ignored by the former Labor government.

‘It’s time for a bigger discussion on alcohol and violence and youth drinking. The former government was gutless by not implementing those recommendations of the last summit requiring liquor accords to be in place in every town and not just voluntarily like it is now,’ she said.

‘They also recommended stricter controls on the industry, but the government simply caved in because of the problem, as I see it, in powerful lobby groups such as the hotels association and club industry all donating money to both major parties’ election campaigns and applying pressure on governments (to avoid restrictions).’

Byron United president Paul Waters says cameras in combination with other measures such as increased police patrols at weekends would ‘get the message out’ once a few troublemakers were caught.

‘Cameras don’t stop that violence but have a cumulative effect and these muscle-bound dickheads would be slowly run out of town.’

He said a lockout wouldn’t work because it would create a bigger problem for policing with groups congregating on the streets.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Paul Waters is dead right. Locking people out of licensed venues earlier, where is proper safety measures and higher prices to curb excessive drinking, and forcing people into streets and parks to consume cheaper alcohol bought in bulk earlier, or worse, use illicit drugs, is never going to assist in the worsening problem. It’s unbelievable that the police can declare it amongst the top 4 places of violent crime in NSW, but are unwilling to invest in community safety measures such as CCTV cameras… which really only need to be monitored during peak times of trouble anyway. The same time, mind you, that extra patrols should be out anyway. Why on Earth WOULDN’T they want an extra dozen sets of eyes to detect the trouble spots and deal with them before things get out of hand? Oh… you mean they would no longer have an excuse to turn a blind eye to it?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Business calls for Tweed train tracks to be kept ignored

More than 800 people had signed a petition calling for a new rail trail to be built next to, rather than in place of, the existing disused railway line running through the shire.

Resilient communities training on offer

‘Resilience’ has become a buzzword in Australia over the past few years, as communities across the country struggle to cope with fire, floods, and a pandemic.

Independent councillor fact-checks housing supply in the Byron Shire

Independent Byron Shire Councillor Cate Coorey won approval from fellow councillors last week for a new reporting regime she says will offer clarification on dwellings approved in the shire.

How to exercise more voting rights in council elections

Being a property owner in NSW isn’t just a financial advantage, it also means you have more rights to vote than non-property owners.