In This Section
- Ratepayers Online Wagga Wagga
- Australia's Negligence Management System - It's time for change
- INQUIRY: Alfresco smoking ban
- INQUIRY: LEP Part 1
- INQUIRY: CCTV Part 1
- INQUIRY: Liquor Accord and Licensing Conditions
- Alcohol & Violence - How can the community respond?
- Part 1: Wagga Licensees hit by Rees Government New Licensing Conditions
- Part 2: Rees Government targets Wagga Licencees
- Part 3: Wagga licensees speak up on NSW Government licensing conditions
- Part 4: What about Personal Responsibility?
- Liquor Accord Chair Nic Barnett Interview
- Launch of Guides to dealing with alcohol
- The Liquor Amendment Bill
- Water Utilities Update 3 March 09
- People Places & Events
- Organisations, Clubs and Societies
- Miss Wagga Wagga Quest
- Wagga Wagga City Council
- Riverina Regional Library
- Charles Sturt University
- TAFE NSW Riverina Institute
Pub Safety Rating System Released
5th March, 2009
Can new rating scheme raise pub and club safety standards?
By Wagga Guide
The Rees Government hopes that a new proposed safety rating scheme for NSW licensed venues will help in the campaign against alcohol related violence.
The Minister’s Office yesterday released a discussion paper outlining the rationale of the new safety rating system scheme that will apply to all licensed venues in the state.
Gaming and Racing Minister Kevin Greene said the proposed safety system is the next step in measures announced last year as a response to community concerns about alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour.
“This is about building a rating system to give patrons a transparent guide to safety standards at licensed venues across NSW,” Mr Greene said.
“I said that we would be working on this system late last year and now we are taking the next step in implementing it.
“After working with the industry over summer we now want to hear from the community, patrons, licensees, venue staff and industry peak bodies.
Mr Greene explained that the system will be a user-friendly system highlighting safety standards at venues so patrons know the score when deciding on their choice of venue for a night out. He also said that the discussion paper, “Safety Rating System For Licensed Venues”, details a range of safety options for discussion.
“We are looking at things like the types of venues a scheme should apply to, ratings criteria, systems ensuring it stays current and how it’s promoted to patrons,” he said.
“We know this is not the ultimate fix when it comes to stopping alcohol related violence but we certainly believe a system like this will help turn the tide.
The discussion paper states that there are schemes everywhere to rate hotel rooms, restaurants, music, film, or the energy efficiency of electrical appliances and they all offer a starting point for the development of a rating system for licensed venues.
Mr Greene added that the proposed rating system is not a system that should ever be developed or run in isolation, which makes it important for the liquor industry to work together with consumer representatives and Government on the project.
“Increased patronage at licensed venues with a high rating will encourage others to follow suit and adopt best safety practices to remain competitive,” he said.
“We will listen to the views of everyone. It is very important that we hear people’s ideas on the usefulness of a safety rating system and their preferred model.”
Wagga Wagga Local Area Command welcomed the news of the proposed safety rating system for licensees and believe such a system can yield positive results for both licensees and patrons.
“I think it’s a great idea, I think the effect of it will be two fold – it will allow patrons to form a view on the safety of respective licensed premises as well as create the incentive for licensees to take steps to ensure their premises are given a high rating in regards to safety,” said Wagga Wagga Local Area Command Crime Manager Detective Insp. Rod Smith.
Patrons can look at a comparison of what places are safe and licensees will want to have a high rating.
“So they are going to impose things that will improve their rating,” Insp. Smith said.
Under the proposed scheme, if a licensee gets a lower safety rating, they can implement their own strategies and take steps that will affect the assessment process, which may increase their rating.
Capital Entertainment Centre owners Reg Qemal and Alec Alabakis commended the opportunity given by the Rees Government to industry, consumers and the community to comment on the proposed safety rating system.
Speaking to Wagga Guide, Mr Qemal said: “Any process with active parties can make genuine progress, contrary to the process used by the Rees government to impose conditions to 48 venues last year, with outdated data and without consultation at all.”
“It is good to see that they are finally consulting people from the industry (AHA) to help with an effective way of tackling anti social behaviour, and that they intend on taking into consideration systems and policies put in place by local liquor accords such as the one we had in place that was successfully showing results.”
Mr Qemal also said that it is important that any safety rating system takes into account the size of venues and number of patrons when rating them, instead of comparing the number of incidents at a venue that has 1200 patrons to a venue that has 50.
The deadline for submissions to the proposed safety rating scheme is March 31, and the discussion paper can be found online at www.dasr.nsw.gov.au.
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