BOOZE REVIEW: State may push for tougher terms from Albury licensees

THE Albury Liquor Accord could soon face renewed pressure to introduce even tougher measures at the city’s licensed premises aimed at curbing alcohol-fuelled violence.

The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing has locked in a meeting with the accord in early April as part of a statewide campaign that is identifying tighter controls on late-night traders.

Albury’s nightspots now have a 1.30am lockout, are prohibited from serving shots after midnight and have introduced a multi-venue barring policy for serial troublemakers.

The governing body is aiming to have accords around the state sign up to an agreed list of terms under which members must operate.

Liquor accord chairman Daryl Betteridge yesterday conceded some sticking points may emerge in the talks.

“We fully expect the workshop to be very interesting in what the expectations of the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing are and what the Albury liquor accord is prepared to put in that terms document,” he said.

“There will be resistance to terms that members of the accord feel are too onerous.

“But the fact we have such good statistical support on alcohol-related incidents in Albury, I can’t see there being a push for a lot of changes.

“The initiatives we have are working.”

The governing body has recently met with the Tamworth Liquor Accord to implement agreed terms among its members.

The measures are stricter than those in Albury and include a 12.30am lockout every night, a blanket ban on serving of shots and no mixed alcohol energy drinks from 9pm every night.

Other controls include that no more than four alcoholic drinks can be sold or supplied to a patron at one time and no more than two unconsumed drinks per person after midnight every day.

The council’s accord representative, Cr David Thurley, has previously questioned the sale of energy drinks at Albury pubs and clubs.

He is expected to raise the issue during the body’s visit.

“If you look at the Tamworth example you will see there is going to be a fair bit of pressure come on to the accord here to agree to things that are probably tougher than what they have now,” he said.

“This accord is quite good and has some things other accords don’t.

“I am pretty sure the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing is going to want to see more than what we’ve got.”