Revellers of Traralgon’s nightlife attempting to access a licensed venue after 1.30am will now be locked out following an agreement of licensees which came into effect on 24 October.
Liquor Licensing Portfolio Sergeant Paul Stow said the change was part of a broader move by police to shift the culture away from patrons ‘pre-loading’ on alcohol before going to clubs, pubs and bars.
Sgt Stow said the idea was first raised at a meeting of the Traralgon Liquor Accord – which has representatives from all licensed venues – in August.
This followed the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation’s decision to change Saloon Bar, Inferno Nightclub and Ryan’s Hotel lockouts to 1.30am earlier this year.
Sgt Stow said the licensees agreed a standardised lockout time was in the best interest of themselves and patrons at a meeting in October.
“One of the best achievements is it isn’t just a police decision – all the licensees have agreed to make the commitment,” Sgt Stow said.
“We’re trying to change the mentality of the general public, so we’ve wound back the lockout from 2am to 1.30am.”
He said by making the lockout earlier, he hoped to discourage patrons from drinking alcohol in their homes or other places, such as sporting clubs, before they entered central business district venues.
He said this practice led to problems for licensed venues, when patrons did not appear too intoxicated to enter the venue, but once inside, soon became drunk.
“When they are refused service they might become troublesome or unruly,” Sgt Stow said.
“We think that half-hour change will contribute to change the culture and in turn cause less problems for the licensees.
“We want to publicise the fact that you can’t get into a licensed venue after 1.30am – and you must be in the door, not the line to get in, and police will be monitoring that.”