The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) has put a brake on plans to open a topless bar in Byron Bay until it can consider a community impact statement on the potential effects of the venue in the town.
Owners of the premises have been attempting to transfer an existing restaurant licence to operate the venue and extend the trading hours until 7am.
And as the community continues its battle to get on top of alcohol-related violence in the Bay, the Byron Liquor Accord has announced it will continue its trial of tougher new conditions for at least another six months.
While it is up to the proposed venue’s owners to prepare a community statement, Byron mayor Simon Richardson told media this morning he would like to see the council prepare a document of its own to present to the ILGA.
The authority’s CEO Michael Brody told ABC this morning the licence would not be granted unless it was satisfied the overall impact of the bar was ‘not detrimental to the wellbeing of the community’.
He added that the bar would not be able to operate on a provisional licence in the meantime.
Byron mayor Simon Richardson, who is preparing a mayoral minute on the matter for today’s council meeting, said he expects Council will oppose the 7am licence application.
Meanwhile Byron Bay Liquor Accord spokesperson Hannah Spalding told local media this morning that the group would continue its trial of tougher new conditions into the summer months.
Ms Spalding said that in the later part of the trial there was ‘100 per cent compliance’ with the terms ‘from all those who signed up for them’.
She told ABC radio this morning that ‘from January to June there has been a 25 per cent reduction [in alcohol-related violence] year on year, which is very positive’.
She acknowledged, however, that statistics had jumped during August and September, which she attributed to ‘a massive increase in tourism… in comparison to previous years’.