Community members and businesspeople in Byron Bay want stronger action implemented to curb alcohol fuelled violence in the area. The group, Byron Liquor Accord want the voluntary measures taken to end anti-social behaviour in Byron Bay to be made mandatory.
The group set up by community members and businesses in the town want to combat alcohol fuelled violence in their area. The group plans on arguing for the change to be made permanent before a NSW Upper House Inquiry into alcohol abuse among young people.
The group made their presentation before a special session of the inquiry at the Byron Sports Complex last Tuesday, October 8th.
The following excerpt from a post on NorthernStar.com.au explains more about the group’s position:
“Research and the experience of other places, both in Australia and overseas, indicates that a significant drop in violence can be achieved by a package of measures including a modest reduction of late-trading hours, purchase limits on drinks and the prohibition of shots and doubles,” Last Drinks at 12 spokesman Mick O’Regan said.
“We recognize the initiative of the Byron Bay Liquor Accord in this area, although the voluntary nature of the arrangements makes enforcement a real issue.
“Recent investigations revealed that serious breaches of the Liquor Accord occurredwithin weeks of it being signed. We need these voluntary measures to be made mandatory for all late night trading licensed venues.”
Two Byron Bay venues – Aquarius Backpakers and LaLa Land – have landed in strife for breaching liquor laws during a Liquor Accord trial aimed at stemming the violence issue.
Even though these 2 venues have breached liquor laws related to violence, members of the Liquor Accord are pleased that there has been a drop of 25 per cent in alcohol-related incidents during the trial so far. The trial is set to run for another 6 months, so even more improvement is anticipated.
One of the members of the group, Mr O’Regan attributed most of Byron Bay’s alcohol woes to the “over-supply of alcohol after midnight” which he said has contributed to serious and ongoing problems which are now plaguing the community. The post on NorthernStar.com.au goes on to explain:
Mr O’Regan said alcohol-related violence was a serious problem with far-reaching ramifications.
“The statistics on alcohol-related violence for our community are shocking in themselves, but they don’t reveal the full story,” he said.
“People at the frontline such as police, doctors, hospital staff and emergency personnel, have to deal with direct effects of alcohol-related harms.”
Byron Bay locals have also come forward and told of their experiences of alcohol related violence and anti-social behaviour, many of these people’s experiences are in addition to those reflected in the statistics. O’Regan also urged other residents to come forward to tell their stories about alcohol related violent experiences which the group hopes will shed more light on the issue.