By Clyde Mooney – editor of Australian Hotelier

Senior AHA (NSW) figures yesterday met with Byron Bay's late-trading licensees on the eve of implementation of a range of strict new measures to tackle the town's liquor-related violence issues.

The trial measures that came into effect today include a 1.30am lockout, refusal of entry to any person seen drinking within 50 metres of a venue and restrictions on takeaway sales after a set time.

"Local licensees have been working closely with the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing (OLGR) in developing a comprehensive alcohol-action plan," AHA (NSW) CEO Paul Nicolaou said.

"We are here today to provide any assistance we can in achieving these objectives."

He said hoteliers care about Byron and its reputation and came to the table with commonsense measures that will work in reducing assaults and anti-social behaviour.

"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 pay their part," said Nicolaou.

"Local Area Commander, Superintendent Wilkins has previously acknowledged that he and the licensees are heading in the same direction and want to achieve the same result."

Nicolaou said the AHA wants to ensure that Byron's hotels are given enough time for the new strategies to take effect and that they have adequate police support.

"70 per cent of alcohol is consumed away from licensed premises and 80 per cent of assaults occur in places other than licensed premises, the strategies have to be tailored to address that," he said. 

The Shout Team

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

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