Lockout in Byron no panacea, hoteliers say
THE 1.30am lockout at Byron Bay licensed venues which comes into effect this week won't be the panacea for the town's alcohol-related problems, warned senior members of the Australian Hotel Association (AHA) in Byron Bay today.
The AHA's chief executive Paul Nicolaou and director policing, regulations and membership John Green are meeting with representatives of some of the town's licensed venues ahead of the implementation of the voluntary new measures on Thursday announced earlier this month by the Byron Liquor Accord.
Mr Nicolaou said the AHA was pursuing other measures for Byron, including potentially securing corporate sponsorship for CCTV and alcohol education programs for backpackers and interstate visitors.
"There's no one silver bullet to solve the problem," he said.
"Seventy per cent of alcohol is consumed away from licensed premises and 80% of assaults occur in places other than licensed premises, the strategies have to be tailored to address that.
"Many of the incidents are actually occurring in the public domain, but the licensees are still putting in place tougher measures than other parts of the State to play their part."
Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) staff were also in town for three days last week meeting with the Accord, police, council and local health stakeholders with the new voluntary lockout terms one of the major points of discussion.
A spokesman said the Accord had also indicated its willingness to implement Refusal of Entry Guidelines recently prepared by OLGR which strengthens licensed venues ability to ban problem patrons.
OLGR compliance officers monitored licensed venues on Friday and Saturday nights.
"No breaches were detected," the spokesman said.
The measures to be introduced on Thursday in Byron Bay member venues of the Byron Liquor Accord include:
a 1.30am lockout trial,
stopping the serving of alcohol 15 minutes before closing time in late trading venues on Friday and Saturday nights
refusal of entry to people seen drinking within 50m of venues
the adherence to a standard barring policy and a multi-venue barring of patrons strategy.