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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

Six o’clock swill

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While fully supporting efforts to diminish excessive drunkenness and violence in the town, I am sceptical that just restricting trading hours is likely to be successful.

I am old enough to remember in my childhood the six o’clock swill. At that time pubs closed at 6pm and as a result people would buy three drinks at 5.30 and try to drink them all before closing time to emerge more legless than strictly necessary.

I am sure there is now a 3am swill operating in Byron and a midnight swill will occur if 12am closing is initiated. I also have grave doubts about the wisdom of releasing lots of young men, their aggression pumped up with alcohol, out onto the streets all at the same time, especially if they are resentful at being ejected.

In some ways it would be better if all venues stayed open till 7am, then as their money ran out or they were refused service as being drunk enough already, people would emerge in trickles rather than floods.

But the real question is why people are emerging so overly-intoxicated at any time of the day.

The main problem as I see it is that the responsible service of alcohol regulations are not being applied rigorously enough. A more stringent enforcement would likely achieve more than restricting trading hours, although I might also add that I think another liquor outlet in Byron is definitely one more than we need.

David Gilet, Byron Bay

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. One way to effectively enforce RSA but more so preventing preloading that is recognised as the single predictor of related alcohol related harm is making a condition of entry after midnight and unobtrusive breath test. Over .08, shut the gate. Kids will have two choices, stay home pissed and smash up their own place or, come to town sober.

    No more guessing by bouncers and RSA marshalls. Law changes are recognised as key legitimate drivers of public health behaviour and cultural change. Take RBT – drink driving, seat belts, motor bike helmets.

    Interestingly though the liquor industry were the biggest opponents to RBT. It went on to cutting our road toll around 30 -40%. Imagine the same possible results achieved with primarily preventable alcohol related harms.

    And guess who today in Byron and elsewhere are the biggest objectors to sensible alcohol supply reduction measures?

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