Pubs want greater police presence
SOME of the big issues affecting licensees in Grafton this month included securing an ongoing relationship with police, an influx of top quality fake IDs doing the rounds and the resurgence of passion pop.
These issues came up at the Grafton Liquor Accord meeting held at the Grafton District Services Club yesterday.
The liquor accord is made up of managers and publicans from clubs and hotels across the Grafton region who meet once a week to discuss the concerns, issues and initiatives affecting their trade.
It also includes representatives from Clarence Valley Council, associated industries including taxis and security, and police – usually the licensing supervisor based in Coffs Harbour.
However there was no police representation at yesterdays meeting, which raised concerns with some accord members.
The members said many liquor-related issues discussed at the meeting crossed over with police, making a police presence vital.
This became obvious when a publican attempted to discuss the assistance of police to disperse intoxicated people after they were asked to leave a licensed premise.
Without input from a police representative, the liquor accord could not discuss the issue further and had to defer discussions until the next meeting.
The accord agreed to send a letter to police in Coffs Harbour and Grafton requesting a regular presence at the meetings, and suggesting a local officer from Grafton be included in the representation.
Another problem most of the hotel and club managers agreed on was the recent batch of fake ID’s doing the rounds. GDSC manager Arthur Lysaught said the fake driver’s licenses were almost too good to detect.
“Unless you have a blue light you’d never pick it up,” he said.
“I don’t know how they’re doing it but they’re good.”
Drinking at home before heading out was another problem shared by all publicans.
Shane Masters from the Jacaranda Hotel said he regularly turned away overly-intoxicated people who had also been refused entry at the Clocktower Hotel and the Village Green.
“These people haven’t even been out but they are smashed because they’ve been drinking at home,” he said.
Accord members said cheap drinks like passion pop were also making a comeback, especially among underage drinkers.
Finally Peter Birch of Clarence Valley Council gave the meeting an overview of how the council’s draft outdoor dining policy would affect them.