States across Oz including Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Terrritory have been grappling with the problem of alcohol fuelled violence and how to curb this disturbing trend. Authorities from these states are now looking to Newcastle for insight.
Now more than ever before, Responsible Service of Alcohol and how we enforce it are vitally important in curbing alcohol fuelled violence particularly in CBDs across most states.
The trading restrictions imposed on Newcastle hotels also known as the “Newcastle Model” has come under the spotlight as community leaders from other states are seeking to lower alcohol fuelled violence in their states.
In NSW, these trading restrictions remain confined to the city because of the state government’s reluctance to implement elsewhere the combination of earlier closing hours and lockouts that are opposed by members of the hotels industry.
According to a report on TheHerald.com.au a small delegation from South Australia have visited Newcastle recently as part of a parliamentary inquiry into the sale and consumption of alcohol. But SA isnt the only state interested in the Newcastle model, Queensland Attorney General Jarrod Blejie is considering a suits of Newcastle-style trading conditions.
In the NT, they are also grappling with alcohol fuelled violence and the Police Association are calling for earlier pub closing times and lockouts after a number of violent incidents in Darwins main street. Venues in the main street are licensed to close at 4am. The police association have apparently accused the territory government and the liquor industry of risking the lives of people by failing to address violence in the territory fuelled by alcohol.
The article on www.theherald.com.au goes on to explain:
A motion from independent MP Gerry Wood, calling for the introduction of measures similar to those in Newcastle that had been shown to significantly reduce assaults, was also expected to be debated in its parliament last night.
Mr Wood told the Newcastle Herald this week he expected the motion would be defeated but that the research evidence of the effectiveness of the Newcastle measures was compelling.
It was not surprising the measures had not been implemented elsewhere in NSW.
‘‘It shows the power that the liquor industry has over many of our politicians,’’ Mr Wood said.
For Sydney’s Kings Cross, the government has ordered the introduction of identity scanners, which were first introduced voluntarily by Newcastle hoteliers for weekends.
However, Australian Hotels Association NSW has objected to legislation mandating the scanners be used each night of the week and 24 hours from Thursday nights until Monday mornings.
AHA NSW chief executive Paul Nicolaou said the suggestion scanners were needed from Monday to Wednesday nights ‘‘fails the commonsense test’’.
Newcastle community campaigner Tony Brown said it was ‘‘crocodile tears’’ from the hotel industry, given they had pushed for scanners rather than other conditions.