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Byron Shire
March 7, 2021

La La Land sprung breaking agreement

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La La Land, Byron Bay. Photo Facebook
La La Land, Byron Bay. Photo Facebook

Byron Bay nightclub La La Land has been slapped with a range of sanctions by the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing (OLGR) after undercover agents found the venue in breach of five of the 10 voluntary guidelines agreed to by the Byron Bay Liquor Accord.

The venue committed the breaches less than a fortnight after signing the agreement.

If found to be in breach again, the nightclub’s licensee could be fined up to $11,000 or face a 12-month jail term.

OLGR director of compliance Paul Newson said La La Land’s failure to abide by the Byron Bay Liquor Accord trial conditions as agreed in writing ‘demonstrated a lack of commitment to contribute to reducing the risk of alcohol-related harm in Byron Bay’.

On Saturday night April 27, La La Land was found to be letting in punters after the agreed 1.30am lockout time, selling alcoholic energy drinks after 2am, serving more than four drinks to a single patron after midnight, serving a ‘shot’ over ice with a slice of lemon and failing to provide security guard patrols as agreed.

Less than a month later, on May 18, a barman was observed advising a punter how to circumvent the ‘no shot’ restrictions. The patron, along with the bar staff member, then rapidly consumed two drinks ‘like a shot’.

The venue was told on May 24 that OLGR was considering imposing restrictions after uncovering the breaches.

The licensee claimed that the venue ‘misinterpreted’ the requirements of the Accord’s terms, but the assertion was rejected by OLGR, which has now imposed the conditions on its licence.

Effective from tomorrow, Friday 6 September, La La Land must ensure:

  • a 1:30am lockout on all nights;
  • a four-drink limit per person after midnight;
  • no energy drinks with alcohol are sold after 2am;
  • no shots or ‘shooters’ are sold at any time.

Mr Newson said the conditions imposed on La La Land’s licence should send a clear message to the licensee and other industry members that if voluntary steps are not taken to protect the community from alcohol-related harm or are disregarded, then mandatory measures may be imposed on venues under the Liquor Act.

 


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6 COMMENTS

  1. The “La La Land” decision by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) highlights more problems than answers. Multiple breaches of the voluntary Byron Bay Liquor Accord measures, committed only weeks after the agreement was signed, produced little more than a tap-on-the-wrist penalty, and even that took months to produce. How can this be reasonably construed as an effective deterrent? A warning that there’s a risk of punishment if yet more breaches occur doesn’t send a strong message to the alcohol industry. It does the opposite and exposes OLGR as an ineffective organisation. OLGR needs to make the welfare of the community a key concern. The unequivocal evidence of the harms caused by alcohol-related violence shows long lasting and serious damage. A “love-tap” from OLGR is an inadequate response to a serious issue.

  2. Here is proof that the information presented at the’ Last drinks at 12′ forum was false and misleading.
    The panel said that the voluntary measures were not enforceable – incorrect.
    The panel said venues could back out at any time – incorrect.
    The panel presented whatever information suited their ‘story’ and quickly cut off any inpu from the audience to the contrary.
    The truth is that all of Byron’s venues that trade after midnight are involved in the Liquor Accord and have the agreed to these measures. If they do not abide by these measures then the licensees of these venues could face jail time – the heaviest penalty this country can impose.
    Interesting indeed.

  3. This clearly reveals the futility of OLGR’s ridiculous “voluntary” conditions in the first place that Hannah from the BB liquor accord publicly assured were “compulsory” and tougher than Newcastle’s enforced reduction in late trading hours. Please explain Hannah. Did OLGR mislead your liquor accord as well as the public?

    Why have we had to wait so long for OLGR to make these ineffective conditions compulsory for LA LA land and not all the other 5 late traders?

    Will we be subjected with the same charade by OLGR when the other 5 breach their current voluntary conditions?

    Stop stuffing around OLGR and protecting the liquor lords. Do you really think this “love tap” will stop the sea of grog violence and failed RSA in Byron?

    Support our local community by the adoption of last drinks @12 and the other evidence based proven measures recommended by this group and the independent medical and police experts unencumbered by a debt of dishonour to the powerful grog industry.

    • Well said Jan. Taking it out on La La didn’t fix anything. And now, the community gets what it deserves. Welcome to Alice Springs! Welcome to party houses going til 8am , everywhere , all the time . Welcome to the world of airbnb – oh you don’t know what that is? Of course not. Just watch.

      The Shire is corrupt , kids in Australia won’t stop drinking after midnight because of “licensing regulations “.

  4. La La Land has disgraced the Byron Bay Liquor Accord and our community.I loved the slap on the wrist this time,maybe they will get spanked next time and then made to sit in corner for the third offence! Maybe with each offence they should lose an hour of early morning trading time,that would make them wake up and listen.La La Land needs to show some respect to not only the community but also to the BBLA.

  5. Byron has obviously gone to police state [situation] since I left. I remember when the police captain went on TV defending the local kids against Rex Hunt. Look at these wowsers commenting here. You took your dislike of schoolies out on one of the most professionally managed venues and best clubs I have ever seen. You wowsers deserve everything you get now that it’s gone – just watch, without something as well managed as this it is going to get worse, not better. the problem in byron is the council not the clubs.

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