New liquor laws costed at $40,000

Implementing new liquor legislation could cost the Timaru District Council $40,000.

At a time when Government has criticised councils for rates increases, new sale and supply of alcohol legislation will be costly for councils, Mayor Janie Annear said at yesterday's resource planning and regulation committee meeting.

Councils throughout the country were budgeting between $30,000 and $100,000 to implement the new act, with the Timaru District including $40,000 in the coming year's budget to do so.

Some of that would be spent on community consultation on a local alcohol policy.

It was important the community developed its own alcohol policy with rules around licence types, hours of operation, density and location of licensed premises, if it did not want to have nationwide default clauses imposed, environmental services manager Rick Catchpowle said.

Such default clauses included 8am to 4am trading for on-licences, and 7am to 11pm for those with off-licences.

At present the district has a 3am closing time for all bars.

The council's existing liquor policy including the liquor ban area, would be null and void if it did not adopt its own local alcohol policy, Mr Catchpowle said.

The existing liquor policy in a draft form, could be put out for consultation as is, but that would not address issues such as "one-way door" policies.

He recommended the council use this year to build on the present policy through staff reports, workshops and public consultation.

The council must also consult with the hospitality industry, police, medical officer of health, and liquor inspectors on the policy.

Potentially, the public would have more involvement into how alcohol is sold in the district, Mr Catchpowle said.

The Timaru Herald