Feedback sought on liquor policy

Community feedback is being sought on Byron Council’s draft liquor licensing and approval policy.


The policy is on public display until January 27, after council resolved last November to seek community feedback.


The council’s general manager, Graeme Faulkner, said the draft liquor policy was an important part of ensuring the sustainable management of licensed premises in the Byron Shire.


“The policy’s objective is to manage the location and impact of licensed premises in the shire in a way that benefits community members, venue operators and visitors,” he said.


“This involves balancing the need for Byron Shire to be a safe and appealing place for residents and tourists, while also maintaining the area’s vibrancy.”


Mr Faulkner said while all liquor licensing applications were determined by the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority, the policy, if adopted, would be used by council as the basis for submissions to the authority regarding liquor licence applications.


“The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing have stated council submissions will affect the outcome of liquor licensing applications, so it is important we have a policy which advocates our desire that liquor venues in Byron Shire fit within a sustainable framework,” he said.


Mr Faulkner said it was important the community, via council, was able to express any concerns it might have regarding licensing in Byron Shire to liquor authorities.


“The OLGR’s own social profile of the Byron Shire shows we have a much higher proportion of liquor licences per head of population compared with the rest of NSW,” he said.


“There is also more than double the rate of alcohol-related violence per head of population compared to the rest of the state.


“The liquor policy aims to help address these problems by establishing an environment which reduces the incidence of anti-social behaviour and the subsequent impact on local emergency service workers, as well as victims of crime.”


Mr Faulkner said the draft policy included the following requirements:


* Licensed premises must participate in the Byron Bay Liquor Accord.


* Council will not support a licensed premises proposed within 100 metres of a school, childcare facility, place of worship, hospital, aged care facility or residential area.


* Hours of operation for licensed venues between 10am and 1am the following morning, and between 10am and midnight on Sundays for premises in the Byron Bay central business district.


Mr Faulkner encouraged community members to have their say on the draft liquor policy.


“The sustainable management of Byron Shire’s licensed premises is an important issue,” he said.


“So we want community members to express their views on what we can do to get the balance right between protecting resident amenity, while allowing community members and visitors to have a good time.”


A copy of the draft policy is available on council’s website at www.byron.nsw.gov.au


Submissions should be sent to council@byron.nsw.gov.au or by mail to PO Box 219 Mullumbimby NSW 2482.


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