By James Atkinson

It's not the duty of pubs and their security officers to get involved in altercations that are beyond the immediate vicinity of their hotels, the Australian Hotels Association (NSW) has declared.

The Supreme Court of NSW recently awarded $1.4 million to John Orcher, a patron of the Bridge Hotel at Rozelle, Sydney. Orcher was seriously injured in an assault by Tamiano Paseka – who sometimes worked at the pub as a glass collector – across the road from the venue.

Supreme Court Judge Ian Harrison said bouncers had a duty to "anticipate and prevent violence" outside their venues.

"The period of approximately two and a half minutes between when Mr Paseka commenced to cross the street and the assault upon Mr Orcher was more than adequate to have permitted alert and vigilant security guards to intervene," he said.

But AHA (NSW) director of policing, regulations and membership, John Green told TheShout that licensees employ security officers to keep their patrons safe in and around their hotels. 

"It's not the job of security to patrol hundreds of yards down the street or across the road," he said.

Green said the decision is subject to an appeal and the AHA is hopeful it will be overturned.

The Shout Team

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

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  1. Once again the Security guard is painted as the bad guy. This ruling is a very dangerous and untenable result. Prosecute the person responsible for the unacceptable behaviour. Not the Security Guard who very well may lose his/her job if they intervene in a dispute off premises against their site instructions.

  2. I find the decision appauling, given that my guards are hired to cover and protect a venue, its patrons and to extend duty of care….however, only for the 50m vicinity to the venue. Their prime responsibility is to maintain order, security and to provide a secure enviroment for the venue and its patrons. If that guard went accross the road and got hit or assulted, what workcover would he be included under?….May I suggest using the term “failure to quit” in the reverse sense…u move 50m away from the venue, its the Police that need to take responsibility from that point on….maybe I can arrange for my guards to clean out the street bins as well??

  3. The RSA guidelines are to minimise harm to the individual, patrons and the community inside and outside the venue, however, a definition of the boundaries of the so called ‘duty of care’ requires a clear discribtion of these boundaries in time and distance, which is obviously missing.

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