ILT opposes one-way door policy
The Invercargill Licensing Trust has made a joint submission with the Mataura Licensing Trust to the draft local alcohol policy.
The draft policy, adopted by the Invercargill City Council, Southland District Council and Gore District Council, is designed to tackle alcohol-related issues.
General manager Greg Mulvey said the trust did not have issues with many of the recommendations in the policy but the trust and the hospitality industry as a whole were strongly opposed to the one-way door policy from 1am and 10pm closing of off-licences.
The trust was a major player in working with police, other enforcement agencies and other liquor licence holders to set the maximum closing hours at 3am and a one-way door policy from 1am did not make sense, Mr Mulvey said.
"If the one-way door policy is introduced, it will mean no-one can enter licensed premises after 1am in the central business district when bars are open until 3am," he said.
Invercargill only had a few pubs and bars and stopping people from moving between them or entering them two hours before they closed did not appear to be a sensible way to tackle alcohol related issues, Mr Mulvey said.
"Someone could be drinking with friends in one bar and their partner in another bar with their friends. After 1am they can't meet up," he said.
Trust chairman Alan Dennis said it was ridiculous situation to be stopping people coming into a premises at 1am when they closed at 3am.
Mr Mulvey said the trust wanted to be heard on its submission and hoped common sense would prevail.
"Invercargill is not Surfers Paradise, nor is it Queenstown or the student centre in Dunedin," he said.
"There are few problems inside a premises. It's when people are out and about that there issues."
The trust also said in its submission it wanted to keep the closing time for off-licences at 11pm. Earlier closing times could hit people living in rural areas, Mr Mulvey said.
"Farmers, contractors and shift workers may want to pick up a drink on their way home. Closing at 10pm may be too early."
Apart from the one-way door policy and off-licence closing time, the trust did not take issue with the remainder of the draft local alcohol policy, Mr Mulvey said.
The Southland Times