Aquarius manager cops $7,000 fine for alcohol breach

THE manager of Byron Bay's Aquarius Backpackers, Christopher David Schneider, has been convicted and sentenced to an 18 month good behaviour bond and fined $7,000 in Ballina Local Court.

The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) prosecuted Mr Schneider after catching the licensed venue breaching the requirements of its liquor licence.

In April this year OLGR inspectors caught the venue breaching its licence requirements on two consecutive nights during covert inspections.

In March 2013, the Byron Bay Liquor Accord adopted a range of measures for a six month trial as part of efforts to reduce alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour in the town.

On 21 March, Mr Schneider signed an Accord document on behalf of Aquarius Backpackers agreeing to adhere to the measures as well as conditions of the venue's licence.

OLGR Director of Compliance Paul Newson said it is crucial that all licensees observe the requirements of their licence to ensure business is conducted in a responsible and sustainable manner, and to protect the community from alcohol-related harm.

"This is particularly important in venues like Aquarius Backpackers which attract many young people and in communities like Byron Bay which are working to control alcohol-related problems," Mr Newson said.

"The fact that Aquarius Backpackers not only breached the requirements of its licence but also the trial liquor accord terms it agreed to uphold in writing demonstrated a poor compliance culture and lack of serious commitment to helping reduce alcohol-related harm in Byron Bay."


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