Albury Liquor Accord retains existing model

Daryl Betteridge

Daryl Betteridge

ALBURY’S liquor accord has baulked at imposing stronger measures to curb alcohol-fuelled violence in its new terms agreement.

Accord members yesterday elected to maintain a 1.30am lockout and a ban on the sale of shots after midnight in agreeing to a statewide campaign to introduce an agreed list of terms for licensed venues.

The only major change was a formal ban on the wearing of outlaw motorcycle colours and jewellery in Albury’s clubs, pubs and restaurants.

About 35 accord members met yesterday following a recent visit by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing which spelled out the requirements of a terms agreement.

Licensed venues will sign the document in coming weeks, and those who don’t will have their accord membership revoked.

Non-accord members also run the risk of having extra conditions placed on their licences which immediately devalue them.

There are more than 200 clubs, pubs, restaurants and sporting clubs in Albury, but only 52 are accord members.

Accord chairman and Albury councillor Daryl Betteridge said members didn’t think tougher measures were required.

“I would say the Albury liquor accord has initiatives in place that closely align with the Sydney entertainment precinct model and the Newcastle model,” he said.

“Why would we, as an industry-based group with community input, create an environment where it would be more difficult to survive in a business sense?”

“There was hardly any discussion or argument.”

The introduction of the ban on colours and jewellery followed a presentation yesterday from two Black Uhlans members.

Cr Betteridge said the ban wasn’t clearly defined until yesterday.

“It was very muddled, but it is now clear there is a ban and it is a term of the accord,” he said.

The major planks of the “Newcastle Model” are a 1am lockout, shots ban after 10pm and 3am closing.

Tamworth has introduced a 12.30am lockout and a blanket shots ban.

Albury Council’s accord representative Cr David Thurley accepted the decision after having pushed for stronger measures.

“There are always other things that can be done,” he said.

“They have been doing most of these things for a while and it could be argued they are working because we’ve come down from a large number of assaults from 2006-07.

“But we’ve flattened out and the question is how do we get from 70 to 50 or 50 to 20?

“We’ve had some one-punch assaults recently and we’ve just been lucky no one got killed.”