By Annette Shailer

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) WA and the Business Improvement Group of Northbridge Licensee Subcommittee (BIG N) have thrown their support behind a campaign to highlight State Government plans to impose lockouts across licensed venues in WA.

The ‘Don’t Lock Me Out’ campaign is targeting proposed changes to the Liquor Control Act currently before State Parliament that would give the Government unconditional authority to impose lockouts on clubs, bottleshops, pubs, taverns, bars, restaurants and nightclubs without each venue being judged on its individual merits.

AHA (WA) CEO, Bradley Woods, said the legislation is unnecessary as the Director of Liquor Licensing already has the power under the Act to impose lockouts on venues that deserve them.

“The State Government’s plan has the potential to impact every licensed venue in WA and every responsible patron that wants to go out and enjoy themselves,” Woods said.

“Lockouts are an extreme disciplinary measure that should always be considered on a case-by-case basis and the current system gives the Director of Liquor Licensing that power.

“The proposed legislation has the potential to unfairly restrict the trading hours of good venues that cater for a variety of patrons throughout the state.”

Big N chairperson, Mike Keiller, said governments in the eastern states appreciated the economic contribution of late night entertainment precincts and only imposed lockouts well beyond midnight because licensing hours were less regulated.

Keiller said little evidence was provided to indicate lockouts work and at times were only imposed to pacify media pressure.

“Lockouts remove the rights of responsible people to choose where they want to go and will see cutbacks in the amount of staff employed in hospitality venues and the ability for bands to play in front of vibrant audiences,” Keiller said.

“Once a venue locks its doors, you can’t come in and if you go out for a cigarette or to escort a friend to a taxi then you will have to go home.”

To support the Don’t Lock Me Out campaign, registered here.

The Shout Team

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

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