Police crack down on Bay clubs

Cheeky Monkeys is also trying to extend its trading hours.
Cheeky Monkeys is also trying to extend its trading hours.

POLICE are opposing all Byron Bay nightclub bids to extend opening hours later in the morning, including on Sundays, as another establishment moves to trade longer.

So far three clubs have applied to stay open later, including La La Land and Cheeky Monkeys.

Most recently, Liquid Nightclub in Jonson Street applied to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing to trade until 3am on Mondays.

The current closing time for most clubs in Byron Bay on Sunday is midnight.

While police will not detail the reasons, their objection applies to all applications for extended trading.

“Police have lodged an objection to all of the extended trading hours,” Byron police Inspector Owen King said.

La La Land earlier this year controversially applied to stay open until 4am.

Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham said there needed to be a proper community debate about the issue.

“My view is that there’s been little debate about what this will mean for the additional workload for police,” she said.

“And the message that it sends out about the town in terms of safety and the branding of the town as being a late-night, alcohol-fuelled town.

“It sets in place us being cast as a party town.

“It will affect everyone that lives here – it’s not just a business issue.”

Cr Barham said the council may consider developing a policy to deal with club opening hours that considers all stakeholders.

“It might be that council moves to put a policy around this issue to do what’s best for the whole town, and not just simply the alcohol industry,” she said.

A spokesman for the Office of Local Government and Racing said three extended trading hours applications out of Byron Bay were under consideration.

La La Land was given approval in April to trade until 3am on Sundays, he said.

He could not say when the other applications would be finalised.

The chair of the Byron Liquor Accord and La La Land owner Luke Thomas did not return The Northern Star’s phone call yesterday.

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