By Andy Young

The Hotely Steyne in the Sydney suburb of Manly will be forced to close its doors for a week, in a decision which AHA NSW president Scott Leach labelled “bureaucracy gone mad”.

The suspension came after the hotel sold alcohol to underage girls last year, and while Leach said no-one condones selling alcohol to minors, he added: “This decision is one of the biggest overreactions I have seen.”

Leach said: “We cannot see this regulatory stupidity continue.

“The hotel industry is being held to a higher account than any other industry. We have had seven people die through drug overdoses at dance festivals since 2013 but what action’s been taken there? 

“No one condones selling of alcohol to minors, however, this decision is one of the biggest overreactions I have seen. 

“AHA NSW stands firmly with the Laundy family on this issue.

“Since they took ownership they have cleaned up one of Sydney’s landmark hotels, creating a well-run, family friendly venue that has received praise from the police and the community.

“To close down one of Sydney’s most recognised and well run hotels because of a first offence is grossly unfair.” 

“Regulators are doing all they can to make life for people working in the hotel industry more and more difficult. Think of the impact this latest decision has on the hotel’s staff and suppliers, who through no fault of their own, will all forego a week’s wages and sales.”

As part of the action over the serving of the underage girls two female bar workers were fined $1100 and the closure order came after one of those workers did not pay the fine.

Arthur Laundy, who owns the hotel, told News Limited that the week-long closure would see his staff go unpaid and would cost him more than $100,000 in revenue.

“I’m flabbergasted by this,” Laundy said, “I think the whole system has gone haywire.”

The Hotel Steyne will close for seven days from 4 July.

The Shout Team

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

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