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Byron Shire
October 25, 2021

Call to oppose Byron ALDI liquor licence

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Byron Bay's ALDI is already popular with backpackers. Photo andyschaible.blogspot.com
Byron Bay’s ALDI is already popular with backpackers. Photo andyschaible.blogspot.com

Chris Dobney

Byron Greens Councillor Duncan Dey will ask council on Thursday to submit an objection to the granting of a liquor licence to Byron Bay’s ALDI store.

Cr Dey said that despite the problems the town continues to experience with alcohol-fuelled violence, and the recent role of the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing (OLGR) in the town, he only heard of the application through a neighbouring business that received a notice from the company’s lawyers.

Byron Shire Council successfully fought off a similar application by discount liquor chain Dan Murphy’s in September 2012 but Cr Dey says ALDI has a similar reputation for cheap alcohol prices.

A local bottle shop, which is a member of the Byron Bay Liquor Accord (BBLA), says ALDI liquor prices are on average 30 per cent cheaper than other outlets in the town.

Currently the cheapest price for a carton of beer in Byron Bay is $34.99 while an ALDI brand is available for $24.99.

Cr Dey said Taree police recently successfully opposed the opening of an ALDI liquor store in that town owing to the predicted increase in alcohol-related problems.

‘According BOCSAR statistics, Byron Bay has about ten times [Taree’s] rate of alcohol-related incidents per head of population,’ he said.

Moratorium on licences

He added OLGR’s own alcohol action plan for Byron Bay ‘ignores the role of the state, which has the right to grant licences or not’.

‘I’m thinking of adding in an amendment that would ask OLGR to amend the action plan for Byron Bay to address the issue of new licences,’ he told Echonetdaily.

‘I would like to see a moratorium on granting licences, which would be lifted when alcohol-fuelled behavior was no longer a threat in Byron Bay.

‘The measure of misbehaviour at the moment is arrests for violence, but I think it needs to go deeper than that. Arrests unfortunately depend on the number of police on the beat.’

Cr Dey added that an additional problem was that ALDI is a multi-national corporation, where decisions are taken at head office.

‘Aldi has indicated that it will join BBLA once the licence is issued but the current Accord terms are agreed to by the owners of the existing businesses in town. As they all live here and own their own businesses this is something they can easily do.

‘The manager of an Aldi supermarket has little control over the pricing and range of products however – these are fixed by head office in Sydney,’ he said.

He added, ‘if this application for a bottleshop within the supermarket is approved by OLGR, then the precedent is set for any supermarket in Byron Bay to have an attached liquor licence.’

ALDI has been approached for comment and Echonetdaily is awaiting a response.

Submissions close on June 15.


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15 COMMENTS

  1. When will these alcohol merchants realise that we are fed up with them trying to force more alcohol down the throats of Byron Bay.It was a fight to stop Dan Murphy’s ,now it will be another fight to stop ALDI or Woolworths .If the existing locally owned Bottle Shops can’t supply enough alcohol at a good price and in quantity then I must be living in a glass bubble.I have never seen the Byron Bay bottle shops run out of alcohol ,except maybe New Years Eve and the community has since tried to stop the excessive overuse of alcohol on this night.We need to make a stand and try to take the power away from the alcohol lobby and back into the hands of the community.A pat on the back goes to the members of the Byron Bay Liquor Accord for working towards a safer and happy community.But the Last Drinks in Byron group is always watching to ensure that they stick to their path and not take us back to 2012/13 ,2004 and 1993 , a dark period in Byron Bay’s history.

  2. IMO personally i like Aldis I find all their products good and priced properly what we have here is vested interests.. of course other bottle shop owners dont want Aldis selling alcohol just like Woolies dont want Aldis selling eggs ..but they do its called free enterprise and competition…are you going to ban discount sales at local bottle shops when they have “specials”?because alcohol is too cheap or are you going to be sensible about it..Dan Murphys was to be a huge complex.. Aldis would be tiny in comparison due to the small premises they have ..No one wants to see alcohol fuelled violence..but IMO it is up to the individual to monitor themselves..I dont see any bottle shop owners or alcohol outlets picking up bottles littered in the streets and car parks ( except for the arts factory who send a daily bag patrol to pick up from the previous nights revelry and full marks for that) perhaps a compromise would be for Aldis to be able to sell fine wines and liqueurs or something that the youth market dont drink in any case Aldis closes at a civilised 8 00pm or 6 00pm on saturday and sunday which still leaves trading hours available to the other 4 bottles shops in town because thats what this is really all about…if there was a serious”green “crusade they would be attempting to close all the bottle shops.

    • PS that “neighbouring business”mentioned by Cr Dey wouldnt happen to be another well known bottle shop would it ?

  3. “Hell no, we won’t go Aldi!!”
    ” What do we want??” ” Higher beer prices!!” ” When do we want them??” “Now!!”
    Yes NIMBYians, we must keep these beer prices as high as possible. It’s been scientifically proven that drunken hoons will alter their behaviour significantly if they have to pay $2 more for a binge drinking violence fueled evening in beautiful Byron..
    This was, of course, part of the same study with spot on psychological profiles of Byron’s leading booze barons.
    In it, there was marked similarity in their compulsive need to to share their good deeds with the community and to humbly accept the modest gratuities gained by the sale of their soothing elixir. There was also proven to be a shared tribal instinct amongst them to nurture and protect innocent distant travelers who travel here, and to generously supplant their basic and vital need for sustenance.There were also a multitude of charts and graphs supporting the theory that reduced profits could mean a curtailing of their ability to exhibit these exceptional humanitarian traits.
    The study also highlighted that local inhabitants, if allowed the substantial savings incurred by shopping at Aldis, could begin to show disturbing signs of aberrant behaviour. Spending the difference on vital necessities at places like, Big W, Target, and Kmart, or actually banking the savings, might become an accepted response if this condition is allowed to occur.
    No, Aldi. And no means no.
    We the people have spoken.

  4. How ridiculous is it to complain about cheaper alcohol and blaming ALDI for trying to break into an overpriced market. In Europe you can buy alcohol in every single super market and even in petrol stations. A decent bottle of beer is less than one dollar. It’s not the selling that’s a problem, it is people’s attitudes.

    Most of us are responsible enough to handle our liquor. The solution will have to come through attitude changes by education.

    Prohibition has been shown not to work in the past from memory.

    • I would have to agree, beer in Europe is less than half price, and we are to be a bit careful that we are not just allowing only richer people to enjoy a beer.. One idea is that the liquor tax is spent where the liquor is sold so there is better on the street support in Byron Bay… tx paul

  5. For heavens sake, Aldi is not responsible for ‘alcohol ruled violence’. Nor does it or any other alcohol supplier ‘force alcohol on people’ like it’s some sort of conspiracy. Get real Geoff. It is individuals who must be responsible for their actions and intake. Aldi alcohol range is small by comparison to anther large outlets and as an Aldi shopper I have never seen folk shopping for alcohol alone. They add it to their $2 deposit trolleys with their weeks supply of groceries.Tweed Heads Aldi has an outlet as do many Aldi stores and, as a responsible drinker,(not all drinkers are violent drunks, Geoff) I use them and would use Byron Aldi. All over Europe you can buy alcohol in any cafe or market. It is not the problem, people are the problem.
    And Andy’s reasonable comments ring true and I think he is right about the ‘neighbouring business’ on the corner. A well known bottle shop, and pub. Aldi is hardly competition to he who owns it, or a threat to the community.

  6. Yes this is true protectionism. Current owners of outlets, tightly held monopolistic few, decide whether a “normal” family or local group are forced to pay higher prices because a few morons can’t control their behaviour ? If they join local Accord, what difference does it make other than driving further to outlets as many are forced to do for less expensive groceries etc. Try more education, less nimbyism.

  7. An Aldi bottle shop section inside their supermarket will not affect our own local bottleshops, for those who want cheap plonk already go to Ballina or Lismore to Aldi or Dan Murphy’s. Some folks have forgotten how to say ‘yes’ to anything in Byron Bay…. For God’s sake, haven’t we all got better things to do with our collective energies?
    Alcohol-related crimes are a national problem unrelated to availability of the evil brew – and don’t believe the statistics as they relate to the ABS population levels not the real ambient population that is probably twice that of the ABS. So halve the numbers to get a real feel for the situation.

  8. So looking at the comments above it would appear that they won’t mind that Woolworths,IGA,Green Garage etc can have a bottle shop inside to provide alcohol with their other groceries.Start a precedent with ALDI and every other retail shop will have the green light to supply take away liquor.And I thought we are trying to lessen the intake of alcohol in our society and community.Am I missing something or do some people want Byron Bay to be “party central” again rather than a safe and happy place for tourists and locals alike.

    • I wouldnt worry about the comments above Geoff democracy has never been the way of this council or any other for that matter… all I can say is that I support Aldi plain and simple, and when they came into town it brought the monopoly of woolworths (which is reputed to be the most expensive in australia) partially to its senses…They have beer machines in europe like we have coke machines here..its no drama..really its called sophistication..its obvious that there are a few recovering alcoholics with axes to grind and I have nothing but admiration for the 10 steps they have taken but like people who have just given up nicotine addiction please dont let the 11th step be to cast rabid aspersions on those that can actually handle the odd merlot or beer …personally I dont like pot but you wont see me standing with a placard outside everyones house that smokes it ..as long as they are adults they can do what they want..the grog culture that we have implemented in our society comes from the swill it down days when pubs were open for a couple of hours ..those days are gone but the culture remains..it will take years to be rid of that mentality..but it is improving not because alcohol is harder to get..perhaps because it is easier to get and therefore no big deal…anyway thats what I think.

  9. I am a local housewife and would like to see Aldis in Byron with a liquor liscense, why should i have to drive to Ballina to buy wine from ALdi’s ( their Tempranillo was very nice , and reasonably priced) when we have an Aldis in Byron ?

  10. Absolutely Geoff, every corner store, petrol station and supermarket should be able and allowed to sell alcohol. The bottle shop mentality of Australia does not work … obviously. Time to change it. Read the arguments that people are making, more outlets won’t change the problem or the solution.

  11. Great comment Cherie &,Timbo , here we go again more of being treated like under age school children just because a very few yobs carry on very late a night /morning when 99.99 % of us locals are well asleep ., Oh the .1 % are those that service these very late night venues

  12. Health groups want Aldi bottle shops canned
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/health-groups-want-aldi-bottle-shops-canned-20110405-1d2zx.html

    Cheaper than Coca-Cola: How supermarkets are fuelling the alcohol-abuse epidemic among young adults
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1036399/Dead-24-The-young-girl-life-wrecked-cheap-alcohol.html

    Would an alcoholic drink less if booze cost more?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7950436.stm

    Supermarkets where drink is sold like water
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1553725/Supermarkets-where-drink-is-sold-like-water.html

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