By Andrew Starke
The State Government has no interest in assisting the NSW liquor industry and prefers to drive pub-owners out of business than address social problems in the community, according to David McHugh, owner of the Steyne Hotel in Manly.
The Steyne was a high-profile member of the Government’s list of 48 “at risk” venues released in December last year and is sixth on a current list of 100 most violent premises issued by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR).
McHugh told TheShout that establishments the size of the Steyne Hotel, the Coogee Bay Hotel and the Mean Fiddler would remain in the Government’s line of fire for as long as the data used to compile lists excluded the number of customers frequenting these premises.
“In the week before we purchased the Steyne back in 2006, the hotel was branded the number one offender in terms of the incidence of anti-social behaviour and assaults,” he said. “We have come a long way since then but there is no recognition for this and we feel like we are just running into a brick wall.”
“Rather than cleaning up the pubs we should be cleaning up the Premier’s office,” added McHugh.
According to BOSCAR’s list of assaults recorded in NSW licensed premises between April 2008 and March 2009, 33 venues will feature in the top tier of the Rees Government’s new ‘three category of restriction’ policy.
The top ten on the list are: Penrith Rugby League Club; Mean Fiddler; Glasshouse Tavern; Star City Casino; Stonewall Hotel; Steyne Hotel; Victoria Hotel; Albion Hotel; Queens Wharf Brewery Hotel; AKA Nightclub Bar.
For a full list, click here and scroll down to the "Alcohol" heading.