Coffs-Clarence Police Local Area Command Licensing Sgt Virginia Luskan.
Coffs-Clarence Police Local Area Command Licensing Sgt Virginia Luskan.

Please leave rowdy at home

By JURIS GRANEY

A LOWER CLARENCE liquor accord is another step closer to reality, following a meeting at the Yamba Golf and Country Club.

More than 30 stakeholders from Yamba, Iluka and Maclean unanimously agreed to take part in the accord, which is aimed at stamping out spiralling cases of anti-social behaviour and underage drinking in all areas.

However, Department of Gaming and Racing's senior compliance officer Steven Orr warned the creation of an accord would not stem all anti-social behaviour.

"There is no existing accord that has provisions for a curfew of youth in the streets," Mr Orr said.

"Youth's access to alcohol can be addressed but as for them roaming the streets, it is something outside a liquor accord.

"The creation of an accord however is important because it is a united powerful voice."

Mr Orr said the public needed to be educated on their responsibilities while drinking.

"Most of us here know our responsibilities with the Responsible Service of Alcohol laws but a lot of people out there don't understand their responsibilities," he said.

"Some places, like the Hastings, has a patron code of con- duct that is displayed in every venue," he said.

"We need to take ownership of local issues.

"This is not about using the big stick approach. If we work together we can fix a lot of problems."

LAC liquor licensing sergeant Virginia Luskan highlighted the importance of creating a voluntary accord that would enable clearer and more open dialogue between council, police, retailers and the community.

"It is a starting point to addressing issues in the community," she said.

"We all need to work together and there are plenty of examples of where accords have worked well in the past."

Sgt Luskan pointed to Coffs Harbour, where a concerted campaign to stamp out drink-driving over the Christmas break began last week with the implementa- tion of night rider bus services.



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