Shots banned as Accord cracks down on liquor louts in Bendigo

Updated November 7 2012 - 1:33am, first published February 11 2010 - 11:04am

HIGH-ALCOHOL shots have been banned from Bendigo’s late-night venues in a bid to banish drunken louts.The Bendigo Liquor Accord yesterday voted to enforce the ban after 2am.All-you-can-drink promotions have also been reined in after several Bendigo venues continued to hold events that violated State Government legislation. Patrons pay a set amount to drink unlimited alcohol at the events.Star Bar and Pugg Mahones owner Andrew Lethlean said the bans were not necessarily a precursor to tighter restrictions in the CBD.But he said if licensees did not responsibly serve alcohol then tougher measures may be implemented.“It’s just making people a bit more responsible for what they’re serving,” Mr Lethlean said.“I don’t think 2am will make a huge difference, but it’s a good step.“The hardest part of all this is it doesn’t really matter if people are having shots at 9, 10 or 11 o’clock, it’s comes down to people serving them responsibly.”Mr Lethlean said licensees had urged the liquor accord - which also includes police and community members - to consider tighter regulations on businesses that sold takeaway liquor.“Our main argument is that we can’t know what these people have been getting up to at home,” he said.“We’re the ones held responsible for people, and there’s no way of telling how much they’ve had to drink before they come into town.“We say we’re actually the safest place people can have a drink at, because there’s security, it’s a controlled environment and it’s supervised.”Attorney-General Rob Hulls said shortly before the liquor accord confirmed the ban that the State Government was committed to removing the scourge of anti-social behaviour from the streets.Mr Hulls was in Bendigo to announce funding for several racing initiatives as part of his role as Racing Minister.“We have to get the message out there that it’s not smart, it’s not clever, to get drunk and assault people,” Mr Hulls said.“If you respect yourself, and you respect your neighbours and respect your community, you don’t go out and get drunk and start assaulting people.“I certainly welcome the accord that has been placed here in Bendigo . . . and I think Bendigo is taking a lead in relation to trying to curb alcohol-fuelled violence and the accord that’s been struck, I think, is a good one.“What I support is local communities working together on local solutions.“When the community works together with law enforcement agencies innovative solutions can occur.”

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