By Andy Young

The President of the Liquor Stores Association New South Wales, David Reberger has said that the association does not believe that there is justification for any regulation of liquor retailers based on an argument that it would reduce alcohol-related violence.

Speaking at the LSA NSW Panel earlier this week, Reberger said the association supports efforts to reduce alcohol-related violence, but added that there is no evidence to support greater liquor retail regulation.

“LSA NSW does not believe that there is justification for any regulation of liquor retailers based on an argument that it would reduce alcohol-fuelled violence,” Reberger said.

“The evidence is simply not there to support it. However the retail liquor industry, like the broader community supports a targeted approach from Police and greater penalties for anyone who goes out and inflicts harm on others. Our industry strongly supported the removal of consumption of alcohol beverages as an excuse for criminal and anti-social behaviour in NSW.”

He added: “Of great concern is that, while alcohol related domestic assault has been in steady and consistent decline, non-alcohol related domestic assault continues to steadily increase.

“In addition, arrests for amphetamine-related offences, as well as cocaine and other narcotics are all on the rise. 

“We commend the actions of NSW Police in rolling out Mobile Drug Testing. This action is a clear acknowledgement of the potential harms and risks associated with the increasing abuse of illicit drugs in our society.”

Speaking about liquor regulation in NSW Rerberger also highlighted that of the 200 strikes that have been issued in the three-strike system, just 12 have been issued to packaged liquor licenced venues.

Rerberger also spoke about the state’s laws which require liquor stores to close at 10pm, telling attendees: “As attested by the remarkably few packaged venues on the ‘three strikes’ list, our industry is favourably viewed for knowing our customers and doing the right thing by the communities we serve. We also think our customers are mature adults who weren't doing anything wrong by being able to make a purchase after 10pm. And the evidence supports this.

“You can't ask for more compelling evidence than that provided by BOCSAR. The 10pm forced closure measure for packaged liquor sales did not move the trend line one iota from its previous downward trajectory.”

The Panel also discussed the new Liquor & Gaming NSW regulator, with Reberger saying: “LSA NSW welcomes these reforms to develop a new fit-for-purpose regulator that will eliminate regulatory overlap and stakeholder confusion between ILGA and OLGA that has existed in the past and hopefully will streamline existing processes and improve service delivery in government.”

The Shout Team

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

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