By Andrew Starke
The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) NSW has congratulated venues that have had their names removed from the government’s ‘shame list’ but said concerns remain about the accuracy of the statistics used in its compilation.
“Whilst the most recent (May 28)) ‘shame list’ has seen numerous hotels removed, the AHA (NSW) still has some concerns about the system,” AHA (NSW) CEO Sally Fielke told TheShout.
“Larger venues, because of their sheer size and patron numbers, will always find it difficult to get off the list.
“Concerns still also remain with the police data and the accuracy of statistics that are alleged against venues,” she added.
Fielke congratulated those venues like the Coogee Bay Hotel, which previously had restrictions imposed on them, for their hard work and proactive initiatives which have seen them taken off the list.
She said positive measures such as the AHA’s Designated Driver program, increased security, late-night transport programs and vigilant Responsible Service of Alcohol, had resulted in the improved performance of these venues.
However, two Albury licensees whose hotels feature on the latest list were more scathing, claiming data used to compile the ‘shame list’ was inaccurate.
The Bended Elbow’s Gavin Grant told The Border Mail that at least six of the incidents recorded for his venue had occurred outside the premises, while New Albury licensee Craig Shearer told the same newspaper that his hotel had appealed six of its 12 recorded assaults, claiming two had occurred outside.
The AHA (NSW) said it would continue to present these sorts of concerns to the police, the State Government and all stakeholders to address issues in their venues.
“However, if the State Government is genuine about addressing anti-social behaviour in the community, it needs to also keep the focus on personal responsibility and education,” said Fielke.
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