Push for new alcohol accord outside Ballarat's CBD

A SECONDARY Liquor Accord for venues outside Ballarat’s central business district is yet to get off the ground, despite police believing it will help reduce alcohol-related violence.

Ballarat currently has a voluntary accord between police and late-night entertainment venues within the CBD, which includes a 2.30am lockout and no shots served after 1am.

Ballarat police are hoping to initiate a new accord between venues outside the CBD, as a way of continuing the fight against anti-social behaviour.

“We were putting too much emphasis on late-night entertainment, and venues outside the CBD were missing out on the education,” Ballarat police Inspector Bruce Thomas said. 

Inspector Thomas said a new accord would analyse bad practice, including promotions or events encouraging excessive drinking, and give venues the right to a banned patrons list. 

He said venues outside the CBD were open to the idea of a new accord.

“Banned patrons is a big issue and what got traders interested when we first started the accord idea,” he said.

Inspector Thomas said a secondary accord outside the CBD was first suggested in 2011, but there had been some delays in getting venues to sign up. 

“Due to the voluntary nature of the accord, many venues have a ‘what’s in it for me’ attitude,” he said. 

City of Ballarat community safety committee chairman councillor Des Hudson said there were no disadvantages for venues that were part of a liquor accord. 

“Safety strengthens communities,” he said.

“Since there’s been lockouts in the CBD there has been a considerable reduction in assaults.”

While Ballarat has 380 licensed venues, including many sporting clubs, Inspector Thomas said hotels would be the focus of the new accord.

“There are five or six venues we would be aiming to change,” he said.