Clubs NSW urges locking out community and health expert advice from liquor licence consultation

Clubs NSW is pushing the NSW Government for a restriction of community objection rights as part of consultation during liquor licence applications, recommending the removal of mandatory consultation with NSW Health, the Department of Family and Community Services and recognised leaders of local Aboriginal communities

Clubs NSW’s submission to the government’s Community Impact Statement (CIS) review calls for a “honing down” of people, local groups and experts permitted in community consultation to those “directly impacted” by the granting licence.

Greens NSW MLC and Gambling Spokesperson Justin Field said any reduction of community rights to have a say and challenge liquor licence applications in their neighbourhood was a step in the wrong direction.

“The Clubs NSW push for a watering down of consultation on the impacts of alcohol is completely out of touch with the increasing community unease over the harm irresponsible alcohol cause people, families and our communities,” he said.

“Health professionals and other experts are already concerned their detailed, fact-based advice is being glossed over under the CIS process with a close to 100% approval rate by Liquor and Gaming NSW.

“The Greens want to see the community consultation processes around liquor licence applications strengthened. The advice of health professionals and police should be given more weight, not less, especially when it comes to applications from key alcohol retailers such as the big bottle shop chains.

“The Government must side with the community and not with vested interests when it comes to these important public health and community wellbeing questions.

“We can’t be too cautious when it comes to protecting people and our communities from alcohol-related assaults, alcohol-related hospitalisations, domestic assaults and malicious damage.

“I’ve continued to raise serious questions about the extent to which the big alcohol and gaming interests in NSW seem to get their way and the community gets locked out of decision making.

“The outcome of this CIS Review should be safer and better informed communities. The NSW Government should reject this recommendation from Clubs NSW and any other submissions that disempower communities,” Mr Field said.

CIS stakeholder submissions available on the Liquor & Gaming NSW website here:

http://www.liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au/Pages/public-consultation/community-consultation/community-impact-statement-evaluation.aspx


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