By Amy Looker

The Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia (DSICA) has said that placing the blame solely on alcohol is not the answer, in the wake of the NSW Government's announcement to place drink bans on licensed venues in Kings Cross in a bid to reduce violence.

DSCIA said that while it supports the NSW Government's attempt to bring down the number of violent incidents occurring in Kings Cross, it disagrees with the its view that "distilled spirits are a problem warranting specific drink bans".

"The crackdown is in response to the sad and senseless death of Tom Kelly, which happened well before midnight and which has never been linked to alcohol issues. Would any of these measures have prevented such a tragedy?" asked DSICA spokesman, Stephen Riden.
"None of the trial measures announced by the Government stop people abusing alcohol well before midnight. Is it only the shots, doubles and pre-mixed drinks served in bars after midnight that are really the issue? What about illicit drugs, which are an issue that seems to be forgotten in the Kings Cross debate?"

Riden said that Kings Cross has become a "perfect storm" for Australia's debate about policing, behaviour, alcohol and violence.

"Singling out distilled spirits as the particular problem and the only product group that needs special controls is misguided. The after-midnight bans show a real lack of understanding about what drives determined drinkers looking to get extremely drunk, and they are the ones we need to slow down," Riden said.

"These bans will come at a high a cost for those consumers who simply want a double or a cocktail after midnight, and won't be able to be served one irrespective of how well-behaved they are. Sydney, the international city and tourist destination, now closes at midnight.

"The NSW Government should be supported in its efforts to stop violence in Kings Cross but its emphasis on banning shots, doubles and higher strength pre-mixed drinks after midnight begs the question – what about beer and wine? Alcohol is alcohol, irrespective of how it is made."

The Shout Team

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1 Comment

  1. Status update
    By Pub Law
    Again the Premier and the Minister for Gaming & Racing have missed the point in yesterday’s Premier’s media release on the Restrictions on Kings Cross Licensed Venues.
    It is not an industry sector or the operators in an area which need to be the subject of these restrictions. It is the minority of venue operators who are incapable or not willing to, abide by the law and act responsibly, who need to be targeted by the police and the inspectors from the OLGR and have these restrictions individually imposed under the existing mechanisms of the Liquor Act.
    However if the Government is not willing to properly resource regulatory compliance of the Liquor Industry, then we will continue to have the proverbial “Keystone Cops” approach to enforcement and the rogue operators will never be brought to task.
    Instead of targeting rogue operators, the Government will impose these blanket restrictions upon all venue operators in Kings Cross.
    Why? Because it is easier for the Government to do it that way.
    But that is manifestly unfair to the majority of the venue operators who are acting responsibly.
    I ask, how many Kings Cross Venues have a “strike” recorded against their licences? The answer is none.
    How many Kings Cross Venues are currently classified as either a Level 1 or Level 2 Venue, under Schedule 4 of the Act? The answer is none.
    Can you see the picture emerging here?

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