By Annette Shailer

The three-month trial of 2:00am lockouts in Melbourne ended yesterday with a decision on the future of the city’s bar scene expected by next month.

The controversial lockout trial was implemented to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence in certain districts of Melbourne.

A spokesperson for the Director of Liquor Licensing, Sue Maclellan, said police data, ambulance call-out statistics and feedback from licensees and the public would be collated and analysed before a decision was made on the lockout trial.

“All of this information is being fed into the formal, independent evaluation of the lockout trial,” the spokesperson said.

“The Director of Liquor Licensing is waiting to have all of the evidence at hand before making a decision about the success of the trial.”

The Association of Liquor Licensees Melbourne (ALLM) secretary, Brian Frewin, said licensees still face uncertainty despite the Government consulting with the industry more by attending liquor accords and discussing the issues at hand.   
“The biggest challenge that licensees face now is a supposed increase in licensing fees by up to 100 or 200 per cent. If this does go ahead, we are strongly pushing for the revenue that is raised to be put into increased policing on the streets and education,” he said.

“The three main things we would like to see are education on acceptable drinking behaviour, an increase in police on the streets and an increase in available night time transport as currently most shuts down at 1:00am, except for nightrider buses.”

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The Shout Team

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

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