The NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) has welcomed the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal’s (NCAT) upholding of restrictions on trading hours for a bottle shop near Shark Park in Woolooware.
In January 2019, ILGA imposed a number of restrictions on a proposed Dan Murphy’s store to be located about 100 metres from the nearest entrance to Shark Park, the home ground of NRL team Cronulla Sharks.
The restrictions included a ban on trading two hours before and after an NRL game due to risks of alcohol-related harm.
ILGA imposed the restrictions due to the store’s easy accessibility to the stadium, the large number of supporters on game days and higher than average rates of alcohol-related assaults in the surrounding area.
To approve liquor licences, ILGA must be satisfied the overall social impact of trading will not be detrimental to the well-being of the local community.
Dan Murphy’s appealed against the decision to NCAT and proposed alternative measures including limiting the sale of drink sizes along with additional signage and security.
NCAT has upheld ILGA’s decision, ruling the store cease trading 90 minutes before and after an NRL game. It was not satisfied the alternative measures proposed by Dan Murphy’s were sufficient to mitigate this risk.
The tribunal took into account evidence from NSW Police stating the store’s location would make it “extremely convenient” to smuggle alcohol into the stadium and contribute to the “significant and on-going” alcohol problem around the stadium.
To assist the tribunal, ILGA engaged consultants, Newgate Australia, to survey 150 residents in the area surrounding Shark Park with around 60 per cent expressing concerns about alcohol-related litter and 35 per cent concerned over excessive noise on game days.
ILGA Chair Philip Crawford welcomed the decision saying the ruling was about ensuring the public felt safe at large events.
“One of ILGA’s key priorities is to protect the community from alcohol-related harms,” he said.
“The evidence showed there are valid concerns of alcohol-related harm caused by patrons on game days.”