Nightclub Owners Rebuff AMA Calls For Licensing Crackdown
We've all heard about this rubbish about alcohol-fueled violence at live venues, yeah? We've scene the Tote close and re-open, along with the number of various protests for saving life music. Well now prominent Melbourne nightclub owner, Peter Iwaniuk has labelled calls by the AMA Victoria president Dr Harry Hemley for a 'liquor licence crackdown' (Herald Sun 19th October 2010) as ill-informed and unhelpful.
After being under relentless attach for the past three years, the hospitality industry is speaking out against unfounded and unsuccessful interaction by the government, including the botched attempt at a 2am lockout, up to 6 visits a night by police and compliance officers, and issue of countless on the spot fines for even minor technicalities, such as incorrect signage.
"The clear aim of the Brumby Government has been to send as many licensees to the wall as possible. The reason why so few licensees, however, have been prosecuted for serious licence breaches is that the industry as a whole operates very responsibly with extreme regulatory burdens that no other industry sector would tolerate" explained Mr Iwaniuk.
"When individuals do abuse alcohol or drugs, or engage in anti social or violent behaviour it is up to the AMA and the Government to place far more emphasis on personal responsibility, with support and counselling services where appropriate, and heavy penalties for criminal actions.Unfortunately, the Brumby Government has sought to scapegoat the industry for its social policy failings.
"This is why the Nightclub Owners Forum is mounting a campaign that will ask Mitcham voters to put Liquor Minister, Tony Robinson last on the ballot paper on November 27" said Mr Iwaniuk.
Mr Iwaniuk hopes to reverse the costs he believe the Brumby Government have left on Melbourne, including:
• Thousands of jobs have been put at risk
• Melbourne's world class reputation as a tourist destination has been damaged
• Costs for consumers have increased significantly
• Public safety has been put at risk by the Brumby Government's failure to provide adequate police services and run trains at night on weekends
"I hope that on Saturday November 27th Mitcham voters will send a clear message to Tony Robinson and the Brumby Government that it is only consultation, cooperation and proper investment in policing, transport and social infrastructure that will ensure Melbourne remains a safe, vibrant place to socialise" concluded Mr Iwaniuk.