By Clyde Mooney, editor Australian Hotelier

Merivale-owned Sydney venue ivy is New South Wales' only licensed premises to receive Level One restrictions in the latest list of the state's most violent venues.

Notable omissions were former Level One venues Newcastle's Fannys and M J Finnegans, which accumulated 28 and 21 incidents respectively in the previous period.

They will now be removed from the list entirely with both recording less than the requisite 12 violent incidents required for inclusion as a Level Two venue.

This time ivy was the only venue receiving Level One status, which is for those venues with more than 19 violent incidents. The Sydney venue recorded 24 incidents, up from 23 last year.

Australian Hotels Association (AHA) NSW CEO Paul Nicolaou said the results show assaults on licensed premises are now at "their lowest levels in more than a decade".

"The record low number of venues on the Government's tiered list shows how both licensed premises and police have been working together over the last few years to bring assault rates down," he said.

"One of the positive aspects of this round is that in Newcastle it clearly shows that strategies that impact on personal responsibility, such as the initiatives introduced voluntarily by hoteliers themselves, have a far greater impact than sanctions imposed."

The new list features just sixteen venues state-wide – a drop of two. Four new venues have been added to the list – Forster Tuncurry Memorial Services Club, Penrith RSL Club, the ALH-owned New Brighton Hotel in Manly, and the Mill Tavern in Young.

Minister for Hospitality, George Souris, said the results were encouraging but pointed out that six Kings Cross venues just escaped the cut-off with up to 11 incidents. Similarly, entertainment hot-spots Byron Bay and Newcastle each had three venues that approached the benchmark.

"It's important to note that most of the venues on the list have significant numbers of people moving through them and their place on the list is not indicative of poor management practice – in this case size does matter," added Nicolaou.

The Shout Team

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

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