Deniliquin licensees oppose official Liquorland application

Local publicans and licensees have just over a week to halt a Liquorland store being opened in Deniliquin.

An application for a packaged liquor licence has been lodged with the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.

Documentation relating to the application, including a community impact statement, has been provided on the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing website.

Submissions opposing the proposal will be accepted until March 11.

Licensees, through the Deniliquin Liquor Accord, have enlisted the help of a legal team out of Sydney to help fight the application which they say will adversely impact on existing businesses.

Deniliquin White Lion Hotel Motel owner Ray Allsop said the Liquorland development would most likely kill the ‘‘little blokes’’.

He said the impact on his own business, which incorporates a Thirsty Camel bottleshop, would be ‘‘quite severe’’.

‘‘If this gets through there will be a reduction in business,’’ he said.

‘‘There will possibly also be a reduction in bar sales too if people are more inclined to get takeaways and drink at home.’’

Mr Allsop said whether it was their intention or not, chain stores like Liquorland trample small business.

‘‘You just have to look at the little butcher shops – there’s an empty one across the road from us here (in Maher St),’’ he said.

‘‘And look at the Maher St store and other small corner stores – they are gone.

‘‘Big chains come in and close down the little blokes.

‘‘The big boys can come in and, overnight, take away 60 per cent of your trade.’’

While Riverina Cellars owner Troy Bright admitted the new liquor shop would impact on his business, he was more concerned with certain disadvantages for the community. He said many of the existing businesses provide financial support to the community, which will be impacted as trade decreases.

Mr Allsop says he personally maintains there is not enough room for another liquor outlet in Deniliquin.

‘‘The situation is I just don’t think it is needed.

‘‘I feel sorry for the guys here before me, the ones who fought this development all those years ago.

‘‘They put a lot of money into it, and all it has done is buy them time.’’

Local licensees succeeded in stopping a Liquorland being created in Deniliquin in 1996, after Deniliquin Council originally granted consent for a liquor outlet at Deniliquin’s Hardinge St plaza.

The argument local publicans used at the time, which related to the over supply of one particular business, can not be used again because of changes to the Liquor Act.

Council said earlier this year if the new proposal was unaltered from the original consent, Liquorland and Coles do not need to seek further council approval to go ahead with the business.

Liquorland was required to seek input from council in the community impact statement however, and council said it was not in favour of the application.

‘‘The operation of the development may have an adverse impact on local employment and business in Deniliquin,’’ council general manager Des Bilske said in the submission.

Mr Bilske also said considering the history of the Liquorland application ‘‘council would not support the opening of a packed liquor outlet’’.

During the course of the application, Liquorland was also required to consult with NSW Health, who said it too would not support the application.

NSW Health said the new store would ‘‘contribute to further alcohol related harm and negative health outcomes’’.


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