Thumbs down for grog shop site

Taz Miller, of Byron BayI prefer an eclectic range of shops in Byron Bay, but I’m not really for, nor against a Dan Murphy’s bottle shop. If young people want to drink they will find the alcohol anyway. Business is all about fair game and everyone has rights.
Taz Miller, of Byron BayI prefer an eclectic range of shops in Byron Bay, but I’m not really for, nor against a Dan Murphy’s bottle shop. If young people want to drink they will find the alcohol anyway. Business is all about fair game and everyone has rights.

RIGHT business, wrong location.

That seems to be the consensus of many residents and business groups in Byron Bay to an application by Woolworths to build a Dan Murphy's bottle shop in premises under the Dendy Cinemas in Jonson St.

The application for the bottle shop, which was first submitted to Byron Council early in 2010, has come under fire from many parts of the community who say the development will encourage more anti-social and drunken behaviour as well as increased traffic and parking problems.

Peak Byron business group Byron United and the Byron Bay Liquor Accord both agree the location for the proposed bottle shop is wrong.

"The bottle shop would be much better suited in a light commercial zone in the Byron Bay Industrial Estate," Byron United president Paul Waters said.

"The CBD location is all wrong, it will just increase traffic and create parking problems in an already congested area.

"We have no objection to the bottle shop. It's just in the wrong location."

Byron Bay Liquor Accord chairwoman Elke van Haandel said the accord did not approve of the bottle shop in the Jonson St location.

"We already have enough anti-social and violence issues caused by alcohol, and to have a large liquor supply store added to the mix, well it won't help us in our efforts to clean up the streets," she said.

"The position is not ideal, but if it was in the industrial estate, well that's another matter."

Ms van Haandel said the accord was not anti-Dan Murphy's, just anti the location.

But Byron Bay resident Lorraine St Clair said the town needed to show Dan Murphy's it was not welcome.

"People need to register to have their say against the new 1000sq ft Dan Murphy's under the cinemas where our kids hang out," she said.

"The shops around Dendy will suffer too as Byron slides further into its booze town image."

A spokesman for Woolworths said Dan Murphy's was different to current liquor outlets in Byron Bay.

"What we're doing is bringing choice to Byron Bay, but we recognise we have a responsibility to the community," he said.

"Over 90% of our customers are over 25, we have a track record of responsible service and we will have more than 30 CCTV cameras."

Meanwhile, the Liquor and Gaming Authority will hold a public conference in Byron Bay on September 4 to hear public comments on the bottle shop application.

The hearing will be held at the Community Centre at 3pm. Seating is limited and registration is required.

To attend, phone Troy Bell on 9995 0355 or email Registrations close on August 29.

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