Moratorium on extended trading hours

THE State Government has stepped up its campaign to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence with a 12-month freeze on approving applications for extended trading hours for pubs and clubs.

Labor State Members Barbara Stone, Desley Scott and Evan Moorhead have welcomed the moratorium and said the freeze applied to applications already lodged or due in the next year, but would not impact on venues with existing licences.

The moratorium is in place while a parliamentary inquiry chaired by Ms Stone examines the link between extended trading hours (between midnight and 5am) and violence and other anti-social behaviour.

“This is a very real issue in today's society - that is an unfortunate fact, but it's our job to deal with it rather than turn a blind eye,” State Member for Woodridge, Desley Scott said

“It's destroying lives and disrupting those who do the right thing. Enough is enough.

“A good night out should never involve binge drinking or king hits.”

State Member for Waterford, Evan Moorhead, said the government recognised that most venues and most patrons drink responsibly and did the right thing.

“Pubs and clubs with existing licences would not be affected. And the freeze, or moratorium, would not affect applications for trading hours on New Years Eve or other special occasions - which would continue to be considered on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

Barbara Stone, State Member for Springwood and Chair, Law, Justice and Safety Parliamentary Committee into Alcohol related Violence said the moratorium followed strong action already taken by the State Government, including a crackdown on early openings and on the use of glass in high-risk venues after 45 recorded cases of “glassings” in just 12 months.

The moratorium took effect from Wednesday, September 16, and will be in place for 12 months pending the outcomes of the Law, Justice and Safety Committed Inquiry into Alcohol-Related Violence due in March 2010.

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