A popular Byron Bay nightclub has lost its legal bid to extend its Sunday night trading hours.
The owners of the La La Land nightclub in the CBD took their fight against a decision last year by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (IGLA) to restrict its Sunday night trading hours back to midnight to the NSW Supreme Court.
The club claimed the ILGA was biased in its ruling.
But the court this week ruled against the club, according to the ABC, which reported that the club began efforts seven years ago to keep its bar open till 3am on Monday.
The extended trading hours, according to the ABC, were approved in 2009 despite objections by the NSW police commissioner who had concerns about the increasing alcohol-fuelled violence in the town.
The nightclub in 2010 applied for a 4am trading licence for the whole week, which was rejected by the ILGA.
According to APN Media, La La Land’s owners had argued the shortened hours were not in the public interest and limited hospitality workers’ ability to enjoy evening recreation on one of the only nights available to them.
They also claimed the decision was biased, given that a handful of other NSW bars and restaurants were granted post-midnight licences about the same time as theirs was denied.
Justice Christine Adamson dismissed the appeal and ordered La La Land’s licensees to pay all of the ILGA’s court costs.
The club now has 28 days to appeal the court decision.
APN Media reported that the nightclub’s management was issued a warning last year after undercover Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing agents found they had let people in after its 1.30am lock-out on a Saturday night, served alcoholic energy drinks after 2am, failed to provide adequate security and served more than four drinks to a single punter after midnight.
Earlier this year, the nightclub was gutted by a fire, forcing 20 people to flee the building and around 50 residents from a nearby backpackers’ hostel were evacuated as a precaution.