By James Atkinson

The Australian Hotels Association NSW has announced an unprecedented $10 million campaign to highlight pubs’ valuable contribution to the state.

Kicking off in March next year, the four-year campaign will promote the state’s top pubs honoured in the AHA NSW Awards for Excellence, following a year of victimisation of the sector, president Scott Leach said at the event on Monday. 

“Individuals need only to find something or someone to blame rather than accept consequence for their actions,” he told AHA NSW members.

L-R: AHA NSW CEO John Whelan, NSW Premier Mike Baird and Scott Leach

“As a community we’ve become obsessed with the notion that the primary focus of government is to prevent all evils rather than police the actions of people who enjoy freedoms.

“You’re facing systems that make you more responsible for the behaviour of your patrons than the patrons are responsible for their own actions."

Leach said the outcomes of the legislative agenda over the last 12 months had been “at times unfair and disproportionate and a killer for investment in this state”.

“It’s absolutely true that in 2014 emotion can trump fact and fact is a currency of little value in the debate around public policy on liquor at the moment,” he said.

“Balance and fairness seem lost to the ever increasing need to pacify vocal minority groups.”

Leach said pubs’ contributions to NSW include 100,000 jobs across their supply chain and an excess of $1.3 billion in taxation.

“The AHA is incredibly proud of our members… we believe you’ve got a story to tell and we’re going to give you the vehicle to do that,” he said of the upcoming campaign.

“Be proud of who you are, what you do and who you represent.”

The Shout Team

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

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