By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
Liquor & Gaming New South Wales (L&G NSW) has released its half-yearly Violent Venues list, with a reduction in venues on the Level 2 list, including several pubs and bars.
There are 12 venues in total on the latest Violent Venues list, with eight venues being taken off the list, and six new venues being added. The only venue categorised as Level 1 is Home Nightclub in Darling Harbour, with 19 incidences of violence having been recorded in the last 12 months.
AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Gaming John Green, was pleased with the latest results, aserting that they are the result of communal effort among different stakeholders.
“Assault levels at licensed venues across NSW are at the lowest levels in almost 20 years,” he said. “That’s thanks to the hard work of hoteliers, their staff, police and the wider community."
Venues new to the Level 2 list, that will face extra compliance monitoring and restrictions from 8 June, include Romano’s Hotel in Wagga Wagga, The Beaumont Exchange Hotel in the Hunter region, Amaroo Hotel in Dubbo and Pontoon Bar in Sydney.
Merivale’s Ivy nightclub remained on the Level 2 list with 12 incidences recorded for the last 12 months. In its submission to the Callinan Review, Merivale argued that a venue’s capacity should be taken into account before adding them to the Violent Venues list, arguing that comparing Ivy – with a capacity for hosting 50,000 patrons in a week – to a hotel that has a daily capacity of 300 people makes no sense.
Green agreed, stating that the actions of a few troublemakers should not affect venues so disproportionately.
“While we welcome the continued reduction in assaults in venues, it’s the minority of patrons who want to cause trouble who should be the focus of attention. Their actions have significant ramifications for venues. Just consider that 12 assaults in a year, in a venue that may see tens of thousands through its doors, means you are on level two restrictions – that’s only one a month.”
Venues that will be removed from the list from 1 June include three hotels in Western Sydney: Iris Capital’s Crown Hotel Parramatta, Feros Group’s Lone Pine Tavern and the Peach Tree Inn Hotel in Parramatta. Also removed from the list was the World Bar in Sydney CBD, Miranda Hotel in Sydney’s South, Oaks Hotel in North Sydney and Florida Beach Bar on the Central Coast.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Police and Justice Troy Grant said that the reduction in violent incidences on-premise was encouraging, but that there were still improvements to be made.
"Most licensed venues are getting the message that it just doesn't add up to run an unsafe pub, club or bar, but I'm concerned that there are still some fresh additions to our list that clearly aren't heeding the message," Grant said.
"I encourage all venues on the list to take action to curb alcohol-related violence, because every patron deserves to get home safely after a night out."
The results were released after three community roundtables were held on lockout legislation, with the State Government now able to make their own recommendations to the Callinan Review, which will release its findings in August.