By Andrew Starke

The NSW Government has acknowledged the efforts of the liquor industry in addressing alcohol-related issues in their local areas and praised the contribution of liquor accords.

Gaming and Racing Minister Kevin Greene said more than 150 liquor accords, made up of licensees, councils, police, Government agencies and business and community groups, operate voluntarily across NSW.

“Local liquor accords are a great example of how local communities can work together to reduce alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour problems,” he said.

“Liquor accords voluntarily bring together those who see first-hand the specific alcohol related incidents affecting their own communities, giving them the chance to devise innovative local strategies to their own specific local problems.

“Every community is different, and that means there can never be such a thing as an overall one-size-fits-all approach to solving alcohol-related incidents.”

Green said it was gratifying that education, training and support structures being provided by the NSW Government were being attended with workshops run by alcohol inspectors around the state over the past five months attracting almost 900 local representatives.

A key part of the workshops are when examples of successful local strategies implemented in particular areas are examined by other accords.

“We promote the strategies that have worked somewhere so other communities know what is working,” said Green.

“While every area is different, there are some very good ideas coming from our accords and they should all be considered in some form.”

Some of these include:

  • Subsidised taxi fares to reduce drink driving and taxi voucher schemes to prevent queue jumping and fare evasion;
  • Standard barring policies where all local licensed venues impose the same penalties for offences by patrons eg. one punch = one year ban;
  • RSA training for senior high school students to promote responsible service of alcohol and expected standards of behaviour in licensed venues;
  • A 1800 hotline for residents to report minor late-night community disturbances caused by venue patrons so venue security can respond;
  • Refusing entry to people seen drinking alcohol on approach to a venue;
  • Staggered closing times;
  • Bans on glass, shots, doubles and RTDs above 5 percent alcohol;
  • Cool down periods (ceasing alcohol service 30 minutes before closing);
  • Free bottles of water and food for patrons; and
  • Rubbish patrols by venue staff.

Ten more ‘Liquor Accords – Making a Difference’ workshops are to be held this year and early next year across the state.

NSW has the highest number of liquor accords out of any Australian State or Territory with more than 5,100 pubs, clubs, bottleshops, restaurants, race tracks and even licensed vessels belong to the State’s 150 liquor accords.

Upcoming workshops for 2010 are below. 2011 workshops will be announced shortly.

‘Liquor Accords – Making a Difference’ workshops

November 9 Lismore Ballina, Richmond Valley & Kyogle, Lismore

November 10 Tweed Heads Brunswick Valley, Byron Bay, Tweed Heads/Tweed Coast, Tweed Valley

November 18 North Sydney Harbourside North, Hornsby-Ku-ring-gai, Northern Beaches

November 24 Eurobodalla Eurobodalla

November 24 Merimbula Bega Valley

November 25 Kiama Kiama, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Wollongong

December 15 Taree Gloucester, Great Lakes, Hastings, Manning Valley

December 16 Coffs Harbour Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Lower Clarence, Macleay Valley, Nambucca

December 17 Port Stephens Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Tomaree

The Shout Team

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

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