15.7 C
Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

North coast venues among state’s most violent

Latest News

Echo turns 35 and You are invited!

This year The Echo turns 35, and to celebrate this momentous anniversary they are putting on The Echo Community Awards – and everyone is invited!

Other News

Come and try basketball in Byron

The next generation of female basketball players, with coordinator Karen Irwin, turned up to a ‘come and try day’...

Echo turns 35 and You are invited!

This year The Echo turns 35, and to celebrate this momentous anniversary they are putting on The Echo Community Awards – and everyone is invited!

What’s your opinion on the COVID vax?

Even though the Federal government refuses to take responsibility for the slow rollout of COIVID vaccines across the country you can still have your say on its rollout locally.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Killer Crocs!

When I was 18, to rebel against the world my parents had created, I shaved a half Mohawk, encouraged my hair to stand on end, grew my armpit hair, wore torn black rags, too much eyeliner and wore 18-hole Dr. Martens boots. These days, to give their parents the shits, the kids are wearing Crocs. With socks. They’re going for comfort.

Co-op meeting

Annette Snow, Myocum As a Mullumbimby Rural Co-op shareholder of 42 years and a past employee of over 13 years,...

Belongi Spit

John Lazarus, Byron Bay An update on proposed development of the Belongil Spit site, for the information particularly of those...

Chris Dobney

It’s official: despite attempts by local liquor accords to change the drinking culture on the north coast, two of the state’s most violent venues last year were in Lismore and Byron Bay.

Based on Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) data for 2012, released today, the list contains the lowest number of hotels and clubs since the scheme started in 2008.

But violence remained stubbornly high on the north coast where Byron Bay’s Cheeky Monkeys recorded 12 violent incidents in a year and Lismore’s Cocktails Bar and Nightclub recorded 14.

Both venues remain in the level two category, with Sydney nightclub Ivy the sole remaining venue in the level one category after some 24 incidents last year.

Three other Byron Bay venues, recording nine incidents each, just missed making it onto the list.

The listings come despite new tougher measures imposed on venues by local liquor accords in both towns.

There has been a major focus on alcohol-fuelled violence in Byron Bay in particular in the past 12 months, with the town’s liquor accord announcing a suite of new restrictions on venues in March following pressure by police and locals over violence spilling over into the street.

The voluntary package of measures being trialled until September includes: a lockout after 1.30am; no doubles, jugs or shooters; plus, after midnight, no cocktails and a maximum of four drinks per sale.

But Byron Liquor Accord spokesperson Hannah Spalding said the figures, which pertain to 2012, did not reflect the effort local publicans had put into fixing the problem this year.

‘Those figures run from January to December last year. We’re fully aware there have been issues with alcohol and violence in Byron Bay. The Accord has been unified this year and taking positive actions in coordination with OLGR (the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing),’ she told Echonetdaily.

Ms Spalding said she could not comment on the listing of Cheeky Monkey’s, saying that was a matter for the licensee of the venue.

She added that it was too early to tell if the Accord’s new set of measures was having the desired effect.

One glimmer of hope is that Woody’s Surf Shack, which was also on the list last year, has now been removed.

Lismore’s Liquor Accord also announced a package of measures last year aimed at curtailing alcohol-related violent crime.

By contrast, Newcastle, which has been held up as a textbook example of how to deal with alcohol-related crime, saw three of its four offenders drop off the list this year.

On top of the liquor accord’s voluntary code, venues in level two will be required by law to: stop serving alcohol 30 minutes before closing; not use glass or breakable containers after midnight; provide alcohol time-outs or free water and food for 10 minutes every hour after midnight; and maintain a detailed incident register whenever trading.

Hospitality minister George Souris said ‘the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) will be auditing the venues [on the list] to ensure they have adequate venue management plans in place to help control the risk of alcohol-related violence on their premises.

‘OLGR will also conduct ongoing checks to enforce responsible service of alcohol practices and to monitor compliance with licence conditions’, Mr Souris said.

He added that the NSW government had developed a comprehensive guide to help licensed venues deal with troublemakers – with penalties ranging from permanent venue bans to fines of up to $5,500.

‘The NSW government has made fighting alcohol-fuelled violence a priority and we’ve introduced tough new measures like the Three Strikes disciplinary scheme which can result in licence suspensions or cancellation for serial offenders, increased police powers to deal with drunks and established a trial of sobering-up centres.

‘We’re also trying to change people’s behaviour through positive measures by launching an internet-based resource to minimise alcohol-related harm among young people by educating them about the impacts that drinking can have on themselves, their friends and their community.’

 


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.

4 COMMENTS

  1. The Byron Liquor accord says this. The Lismore Liquor Accord says that. The lukewarm pronouncements of paid spin merchants, trying to protect the profits of their part of the drugs industry whilst making a show of being concerned citizens.
    Actually it’s, “What the least we can do to ease any small pressure that might come our way.” To much , smile at the camera and say ‘thank you for bringing this to our attention.” Meanwhile try and discredit tougher stands on closing hours by suggesting that things that worked in Newcastle some how lack validity as the circumstances might not be exactly the same. All the usual ‘tentative,’ ‘polite’ white-anting and innuendo that are the stock in trade of people with money protecting their wallets.

  2. Well put John Allen! Alcohol is a dangerous drug making good people bad & bad people worse. Our society dances around facts and helps alcohol drug dealers make profits while all the damage is ignored. I’d rather see Amsterdam style Coffeeshops replace the carnage & danger with peace.

  3. The Newcastle model obviously has proven successful.
    Anyone who saw the report on ABC TV about this would be appalled by the Liquour industry’s hubris regarding adopting this same strategy elsewhere.
    Their arguments regarding the fallout on surrounding areas after the earlier closing times in Newcastle were easily and thoroughly discredited. They claimed that statistics showing alcohol-fuelled violence in the Newcastle area had diminished after the tougher trading hours laws were introduced were inaccurate. However, Newcastle area Hospital staff and Police supported the accuracy of the statistics.
    It’s about time the Liquor industry stopped regulating the government.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Comparissons

Gareth Smith, Byron Bay Trade Minister Dan Tehan wants to refer China to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because he deems its imposition of tariffs...

‘Natural’ cruelty

Richard Swinton, Clunes While I agree with Desmond Bellamy’s concerns about animal cruelty, the issue of ‘natural’ cruelty if the kangaroo population explodes has to...

Police chase ends in head-on car and truck crash

Police have declared a critical incident investigation after a car chase in Ballina ended in a crash Friday night.

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.