Pubs ask sports clubs to help stop violence Story Tools:

COLAC’S pub owners want sports clubs to help them curb alcohol-fuelled violence across the city.

Colac’s liquor accord members, including representatives from Colac police, bowling clubs, pubs and restaurants, say they want football clubs to join them to stamp out anti-social behaviour.

The group meets monthly to discuss liquor licensing issues, including city-wide bans on drunken or unruly patrons.

Austral Hotel manager Anton McCarthy said any business or group that served alcohol should be a part of the accord.

“It only works if we’re all a team, so that includes all the off-licence bottle shops, the supermarket and the footy clubs,” Mr McCarthy said.

“We’re getting into the dangerous period now, football season is when there are more assaults and more people getting drunk, so now’s the time when we have to be working together to prevent some of those problems,” he said.

Mr McCarthy said it was important for licensed-venue owners to work closely with police.

“We all strive to have a good relationship with the police because it makes all of our jobs easier,” he said.

“If there’s an assault at the Austral, I’d ring the police with photo ID of the person responsible, they’d shoot it around to the other members and they’d be banned until the next accord meeting when we discuss what happens next.”

Union Club Hotel manager Warwick Newman said the accord had the power to ban people from licensed premises across the city.

“Community ban lists are a way for us to keep people out if they’re continuing to cause trouble, and that works best when absolutely everyone’s involved,” Mr Newman said.

“It’s no good if we ban someone from the Union, but they know they can walk up the street and get in somewhere else and cause trouble,” he said.

“And sport clubs play a big role in this, because that’s where a lot of people go and drink from an early stage before going out in town.”

Colac’s Sergeant Dan Willsmore is the police representative on the accord.

He encouraged more pub and restaurant owners to join the group.

“The whole idea of the liquor accord is to provide a resource both for police and licence holders,” Sgt Willsmore said.

“It’s not about stopping people from having fun or businesses from making money, but making sure that everyone keeps up with their responsibilities because that’s what matters,” he said.


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