Pledge to reduce violence

Licensed venues in Traralgon’s nightclub district have formalised their joint commitment to help curb alcohol-fuelled violence.

While the partnership between pub and club owners to address liquor licensing and safety issues dates back more than a decade, the group has now been formally recognised by independent authority, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.

The businesses this week launched a new liquor accord document which sets out formal guidelines they have all pledged to adhere to.

“It sets out the objectives of the responsible service of alcohol, security and safety around venues and from a patron’s point of view, it means unruly behaviour won’t be accepted,” Traralgon Liquor Accord chair John Lewis said.

Requirements of the accord include refusing to serve alcohol to intoxicated patrons; providing free tap water; promoting reasonably-priced snacks; implementing good surveillance systems like closed circuit television; and encouraging a policy of no pass-outs after midnight.

The document also upholds the previous barring policy, which allows venues to ban trouble-makers for a month, a year or even a lifetime.

Individuals who are particularly anti-social face a blanket ban from all venues signed up to the accord.

Traralgon Police Station Sergeant Paul Stow said the barring policy had proved to be effective.

“People who’ve been around Traralgon for a while know about the barring rule and the consequences involved,” Sgt Stow said.

“I think that helps to curtail that sort of bad behaviour.”

“If they play up, they know they’re not just going to be banned from one venue, they’re going to be banned from all venues.”

Sgt Stow said bans were most commonly imposed on patrons who committed assault or displayed threatening behaviour.

He said those who disobeyed a barring notice faced a $2000 fine and being charged with trespassing.

“They don’t often try to get into venues after they’ve been banned,” Sgt Stow said.

The Traralgon Liquor Accord has 15 signatory establishments.