The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) is now working with the Byron Bay Liquor Accord and other stakeholders to formulate a strategy to address alcohol-related violence in the town.
It comes after two meetings were held by OLGR reps in Byron Bay last week.
A media OLGR spokesperson told Echonetdaily that ‘This action plan will involve the local council, police, liquor accord and other community stakeholders and identify immediate, medium- and long-term strategies to address alcohol-related issues in Byron Bay’.
New chairperson of the Liquor Accord, Hannah Mooney, who is replacing Elke Van Haandel, told Echonetdaily that all parties at the meetings were there to discuss ‘holistically how to address the problem’.
‘There’s not one party that will be able to fix the problem and all stakeholders are needed,’ she said.
When asked if the Accord had changed its position on moving the 2am lockout to 1am, she said, ‘I haven’t had a chance to discuss that with the board yet’.
Meanwhile, Tweed LAC acting detective inspector Saul Wiseman told Echonetdaily that regardless of any perceived ‘negative press’, he has an obligation to be honest with the community.
‘As I indicated at Thursday’s Liquor Accord meeting, if the police are asked to comment on the state of the crime environment in Byron Bay, we have an obligation to the tell the community the truth. If the truth happens to be that BOCSAR [NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research] report a 20 per cent increase in assault in Byron Bay when the rest of the state has a decrease of 11 per cent, then so be it.’
He also says that three letters from police to Council recommending improvements to the CBD remain unanswered but was advised through a podcast of the community forum on January 26 and the Accord meeting that, ‘the matters are progressing’.