Liquor sale plan divides Coraki
PLANS to open a take-away bottleshop in Coraki's 5 Star Supermarket are dividing the town.
At a public meeting held in Coraki last Wednesday night, organised by supermarket owner Warren Jenkins, about 35 residents voiced both concern and support for the supermarket's plans to apply for the liquor licence.
Mr Jenkins said the biggest concern raised at the meeting was a perception by some residents that another bottle shop at Coraki would potentially lead to an 'increase in the violence and drunken behaviour within the town'.
However, Mr Jenkins said alcohol alone was not totally responsible for crime at Coraki.
He said patrons who were refused alcohol at the hotel would be also banned from purchasing alcohol at the supermarket.
Coraki Hotel owner Barry Kneeves agreed another alcohol outlet in town would not add to crime problems, but said it would not make them 'any better'.
He warned the town's economy could suffer if a liquor licence was approved for the 5 Star Supermarket.
Considering the Coraki Hotel, the Coraki and District Memorial Bowling Club and the Coraki Golf Club all had takeaway alcohol outlets, adding another option for residents would divide the limited funds circuiting through the town even further, he said.
“The golf club and bowling club are suffering and our business has had a tough 12 months following the smoking ban and horse flu,” Mr Kneeves said.
However, Mr Jenkins said the takeaway at his supermarket would not hurt business at the pub's takeaway.
“People that would be likely to purchase alcohol from the supermarket are more likely to be the people that are currently buying in Lismore or elsewhere,” he said.
A local resident and former employee of the Coraki Hotel, who asked not to be named, thought the plan was a great idea.
While working at the pub, the only place in town which currently sells take-away alcohol, she saw bottleshop customers being abused by patrons when purchasing alcohol.
“I would rather drive to Woodburn or Lismore to buy my alcohol than go into the pub to get it,” she said.
Following concerns raised at the public meeting that community members had not had their comments heard, 5 Star's owners designed a survey to be distributed to 700 Coraki residents and business owners.
The survey seeks suggestions on restrictions for the liquor licence, as well as detailing the potential benefits and disadvantages of the proposal.
Mr Jenkins will consider his liquor licence application after reviewing the results of the survey.
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