By James Atkinson
Engendering personal responsibility and ensuring a high level of venue compliance is crucial to addressing alcohol-related violence, New South Wales Hospitality Minister Troy Grant has told State Parliament.
In his debut address yesterday, Grant – who was appointed to the portfolio last month – said that in his 22 years in the Police Force he “had a front row seat in witnessing the slow decline in standards and behaviour across all of our communities”.
“It has come to the attention of this House in the last three years that there has been an accelerated decline,” he said.
“As we have pursued every opportunity to get equal rights, freedom and the like, we have abandoned parental responsibility, we have abandoned personal responsibility and we have lost our way on accountability.”
“Under this Government, those days are ending.”
Grant said the OLGR had announced the successful tenderer for the supply and operation of identification scanners at up to 35 high-risk venues at Kings Cross.
“The identification scanners will be linked to a centralised system and will alert venue staff and the police if a patron attempts to enter any high-risk premises while having a temporary or long-term banning order in place,” he said.
“This will be a vital tool for the police in their future work in this area.”
He said there are currently 38 long-term banning orders in force across the Kings Cross and Sydney central business district precincts. Police have also issued 260 short-term banning orders in the precincts.
“Banned patrons face fines of up to $5,500 for entering or attempting to enter any high-risk venue during the course of the ban,” he said.
“High-risk venues that fail to operate their identification scanners risk prosecution for any breach under the three-strikes disciplinary scheme and further regulatory intervention by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.”
Grant said the hotel industry has a role to play with authorities to make sure their operations are of the highest order and that they are responsible in looking after the community.
“The Government will join in partnership with the hotels industry to make sure that those bad eggs—and it is not everybody; there are plenty in the hotel industry that run exceptional premises and they will be supported—are run out of the town,” he said.
“We will run out of town the rascals who are letting down the industry and our community. This is the first step. There are many more steps to ensure community safety and fairness right across the system.”
Grant also paid tribute to the long service of his ministerial predecessor, George Souris.
“He is a giant of The Nationals. I sincerely appreciate the assistance he has given to me since I have taken up this role,” he said.