By Andrew Starke

The Fortitude Valley Liquor Accord in Brisbane (VLA) will officially recognise stakeholders who make the Valley Entertainment Precinct (VEP) a safer place for patrons to socialise.

The liquor accord will hold its Safer Venues Awards evening at lounge bar Cloudland on April 12.

VLA chairman Andrew McKenzie said the Safer Venue Awards, which are being conducted in association with Queensland Health and DRUG ARM, will honour individuals and businesses who are working hard to improve safety within and outside of venues in the VEP.

“Licensees are taking a lot of pride in the VEP and we want to acknowledge their efforts,” McKenzie said.

“We are also grateful DRUG ARM and Queensland Health are involved in what is essentially a joint effort to increase public safety and improve facilities in the VEP.”

The Safer Venue Awards will honour the best approved manager in the VEP, outstanding contribution to safety in the VEP, service to the VLA and best bar person.

The jewel in the crown is the VEP’s Safer Venue Award for the best late night venue.

“It’s the fourth year this award has been handed out and we believe it deserves to be the pinnacle of our inaugural awards night,” McKenzie said.

“Forever improving venue safety within the VEP is the VLA’s aim and will be a contributing factor in ensuring the Fortitude Valley Drink Safe Precinct is a success for the community.”

Queensland Health Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Prevention co-ordinator Christina Lowe said the Safer Venues Award was having a positive impact on the area.

“This Safer Venues Program rewards licensees who work in the interests of the public and the community safety and we’re pleased it’s being given this recognition by the VLA,” she said.

The Safer Venues Program complements the VLA’s Welcome to Your Playground. Play Nice, Play Safe campaign, which was launched in November 2009.

The campaign included drug awareness prevention and awareness trial by DRUG ARM.

DRUG ARM’S executive director Dr Dennis Young said they had a strong relationship with the VLA and were working closely with them to reduce the harms associated with alcohol and other drugs in the VEP.

“These awards take the VLA’s social responsibility to a higher level,” Dr Young said.

The VLA Safer Venues Award will be staged at Cloudland from 7pm on April 12.

The Shout Team

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