9.4 C
Byron Shire
May 15, 2021

Aquarius bar closes after undercover inspection

Latest News

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the...

Other News

Lismore City Council declares housing emergency, wants more units

A Lismore City Council housing survey had shown more than 60 per cent of residents were living by themselves or with one other person, Cr Ekins said, prompting ‘a real need for smaller housing or units’.

A hands up poll

Helena Norberg-Hodge and John Page, Byron Bay Hands up everyone who wants another high-end tourist resort in Byron: a place...

Diverse and resilient

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

School Strike for Climate next Friday

Next Friday from 10am Byron Shire students will be demanding political action on the climate emergency in what they and their supporters say is our present, future and reality. 

Remembering Bentley

Saturday 15 May is the seventh anniversary of Victory Day at the historic Bentley Blockade, just west of Lismore.

Eating vegan is no longer like Mac Vs PC

Remember back in the bad old days when you used either a PC or Mac? Those were your choices, and never the twain could meet. They were so many miles apart in operations that they were like different countries with different languages and appearances

The restaurant and bar at Byron Bay’s Aquarius backpackers hostel has voluntarily closed after they claim undercover officers from The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) ‘entrapped’ the establishment in a licensing sting.

Twenty staff will lose their jobs and, ‘another 15 to 20 jobs will be affected indirectly, including security, cleaners and suppliers,’ says Dr Harry Chua, who is the director and secretary of Sixth Lafite Pty Ltd, the company owns the Aquarius Restaurant Bar.

Dr Chua released a statement on Sunday night insisting that the restaurant/bar had not broken any NSW licensing laws.

He says the licence allows them to serve liquor when meals are provided. ‘On the night of June 8, 2013, undercover officers from OLGR came into our premises, and purchased a light meal from the BBQ. They had their wrist stamped and proceeded to purchase alcohol.

‘Apparently we did the wrong thing as they had not eaten their meal. Besides the fact that this is entrapment, the legislation says that meals are to be “provided”, it doesn’t say “consumed”.

‘In any case, to get our staff to monitor whether meals being purchased are actually eaten, whether food is spat out or swallowed is going beyond their job description.’

He says the pressure put on Aquarius staff and management to monitor food consumption is ‘unfair, too onerous and creates substantial stress and is ultimately untenable.’

‘Sixth Lafite Pty Ltd will shortly apply for a primary service of alcohol (PSA) license. While we wait for the approval, Aquarius Restaurant Bar will cease trading on June 17, 2013 indefinitely.

‘It is also unfortunate that with the closure of our bar/restaurant, we will not have the staff and security to monitor the alcohol consumption of the 160 backpackers (soon to be 304) who reside here.’

He added that in the six years since his company purchased and started to run the business, they have never had any alcohol-related violence or problems due to the good work of management, staff and security.

‘We all take our duty of care and responsible service of alcohol seriously. And on top of that we close before midnight.

‘We now have no way to monitor the alcohol consumption of the backpackers, who may well go back to the old days of drinking in their rooms and the common areas of the hostel then proceed to party on in Jonson Street.’

OLGR could not be contacted for comment as it was a public holiday and Dr Chua’s statement was released Sunday.

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Byron Comedy Festival launched with a laugh

At a hilarious sold-out launch of the Byron Comedy Festival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki had the entire Byron Bay Surf Club giggling last night

School Strike for Climate next Friday

Next Friday from 10am Byron Shire students will be demanding political action on the climate emergency in what they and their supporters say is our present, future and reality.