By James Atkinson

A pub patron who was hit with a blanket ban from licensed premises by the local liquor accord has failed in a Supreme Court bid to overturn the restriction.

Trevor Owens was banned by the Normanton Liquor Accord from entering the Albion Hotel, the Central Hotel, the Purple Pub and the Normanton Bowls Club in Normanton, a small cattle town in north west Queensland.

The Accord imposed the 12-month ban following evidence from publicans that Owens had been rude and obnoxious to pub staff and repeatedly made inflammatory comments to other patrons.

Police informed the Accord that they had repeatedly been called to attend parties at Owens' house due to alcohol-related violence and excessive noise.

Police said call-outs to Owens' residence included "five occasions for domestic violence with highly intoxicated individuals, three of those occasions involved actual threats, two where persons had been struck by sticks, OC (capsicum spray) deployed by police [and] threats by persons to kill or harm themselves".

On another occasion police had used a taser on a drunken party-goer who was trying to assault Owens with a concrete block.

Owens challenged the ban in the Supreme Court of Queensland, taking on the licensees of the four premises as well as the Accord, the Queensland Police Service, Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation, the Carpenteria Shire Council and the Lamberr Wungarch Justice Group.

Among other grounds, he questioned whether the Normanton Liquor Accord – which Justice James Henry accepted was a voluntary harm-minimisation initiative with a "purely aspirational acknowledgement" in the Liquor Act – had the legal power to impose the ban.

But in rejecting Owens' application, Justice Henry said the pubs' power to ban Owens was derived from the "private power held by each of the respective publicans" rather than the Accord.

Owens had no "substantive right" of access to the Normanton hotels, Justice Henry said.

"He had, at best, a privilege taking the form of an implied licence to enter onto each of those premises which was revokable at will by any of the participating licensees without assigning any reason for it."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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1 Comment

  1. Great to see some common sense from the courts.
    Staff & Patrons need to be protected from people like this!!

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