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Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Liquor Accord reveals tighter controls

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A 1.30am lockout and the banning of doubles, shooters and jugs are at the top of the list of a new set of trial measures announced yesterday by the Byron Liquor Accord in an attempt to deal with community concerns over the epidemic of late night alcohol fuelled violence in the Bay.

The six month trial will commence on March 21 and run until September 21 this year.

Also, under permanent new terms, alcohol service will stop 15 minutes before closing, people seen drinking within 50 metres of a venue will be refused entry, and a multi-venue barring policy will be introduced.

Accord chairperson Hannah Spalding said the new strategies were ‘a holistic approach’, developed in close consultation with the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR).

She added the plan was ‘equivalent or even stricter in some areas’ than the Last Drinks campaign that helped reduce violence in Newcastle.

‘These are commonsense measures that we feel will go a long way towards actually addressing the issues,’ she said.

‘We know that most of the incidents are occurring in public places and we know the times, so we have voluntarily agreed to introduce measures aimed at targeting actual problems.’

Tweed-Byron Local Area Command acting Inspector Saul Wiseman declined to comment on the proposals this morning.

He told Echonetdaily the police had ‘one or two issues that we want to get back to them [the Accord] with and we’ll make a formal comment on Monday or Tuesday’.

Other trial measures in the package include: a maximum of four drinks per person after midnight; no cocktails after midnight; no energy drinks with alcohol after 2am; and no ready mixed drinks with higher than five per cent alcohol at any time.

Venues trading after 2am have each agreed to employ a minimum of one RSA marshal on Saturday nights under the trial.

Large ‘goon bags’ will also be a thing of the past, with members’ bottle shops agreeing to withdraw wine casks of more than two litres and ultra cheap cleanskins.

The plan follows a series of public meetings in the town, which effectively accused the Accord of sitting on its hands over the issue, and the direct intervention of the OLGR and local police in targeting six venues that had been serving minors or engaging in inappropriate drinking promotions.

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