Police on NYE in Byron Bay 2012
Police on NYE in Byron Bay 2012 Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Byron Bay to trial a 1.30am lockout of venues

THE Byron Bay Liquor Accord is to trial a 1.30am lockout in its member venues to try to reduce alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in the town.

The 1.30am time is a compromise after community members and police agitated for a 1am lockout and several venues received "please explain" notices from the liquor licensing authority.

"All Accord members have agreed to introduce new evidence-based measures this week including a trial of stringent measures to reduce antisocial behaviour in and around the town centre," said Accord chairperson Hannah Spalding.

The new strategies were a holistic approach, developed in close consultation with the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, she said.

Other terms to be introduced include stopping the serving of alcohol 15 minutes before closing time in late trading venues on Friday and Saturday nights; refusal of entry to people seen drinking within 50m of venues; and the adherence to a standard barring policy and a multi-venue barring of patrons strategy.

Revellers will not be able to buy doubles of spirits or jugs of cocktails at any time, cocktails after midnight or shooters/shots at any time.

"These are common-sense measures that we feel will go a long way towards actually addressing the issues," she said. "We know that most of the incidents are occurring in public places and we know the times, so we have voluntarily agreed to introduce measures aimed at targeting actual problems."

"This is about licensees in Byron doing what we can to show we are part of the community. We will continue working with all stakeholders and that includes NSW Police."

Byron Bay bottle shops belonging to the Accord have also agreed to stop selling cask wine greater than two litres to the public.

Nor will they sell alcoholic energy drinks, "super-cheap" cleanskins wines or alcohol below cost.

Paper bags containing alcohol are to now sport "responsible consumption of alcohol messages".


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