AHA calls for review of Newcastle’s tough liquor restrictions

Scannet Australia Scannet News

There are calls to review Newcastle’s tough liquor laws introduced more than five years ago.

The measures were introduced five years ago in response to violent attacks in the CBD and include earlier closing times and lock-outs.

But the Australian Hotels Association’s John Green argues initiatives introduced by several inner city venues a year ago, like Scannet linked ID scanners and a ‘barred from one, barred from all policy’ have had a greater impact.

“Ironically, since the venues took control of their own destiny by introducing voluntary measures, they’ve all dropped off the violent venues list,” he said.

New figures released this week show a 33 per cent reduction in alcohol-related assaults has been maintained since the Newcastle laws were introduced.

The Association’s John Green says it is an excellent opportunity to begin the discussion about the effectiveness of the changes.

“We’ve all grown up a little bit and we can look at the measures that we imposed in Newcastle.

“We can have an adult discussion with the regulator, between the police and the licensees and discuss which measures worked, which measures need to be worked on and perhaps what other measures are out there that will have an impact on the level of anti-social behaviour in and around Newcastle,” he said.

22-year-old Martin Creig was king-hit while out one night in Newcastle in 2011, and says the changes must remain.

“It’s definitely something working towards the right direction,” he said.

“People out there are so vulnerable and especially in my circumstance I never saw it coming and it was the last thing I would’ve expected to happen on a night out.

“And you never actually think it’s going to happen and then it does, and then you get a whole different view on it.”

Newcastle Police say removing the measures would be a retrograde step.