Last call for heavy alcohol: Ria Boustead, Ray Horne and Christine Durrington display the sign that says no full strength drinks are to be sold after 7.30pm in the Cattleman’s Bar.
Last call for heavy alcohol: Ria Boustead, Ray Horne and Christine Durrington display the sign that says no full strength drinks are to be sold after 7.30pm in the Cattleman’s Bar. Craig Warhurst

New alcohol law hurts Gympie Show

THERE was no buzz at the bar this year as new liquor licensing laws allowed only mid-strength drinks to be served after 7.30pm in the Cattleman’s Bar at the Gympie Show.

Show president Graham Engeman said the crackdown was excessive because it threatened to undermine the profits used to keep the Show going.

He said the new rules would unfairly hit events like the Gympie Show that promoted a family-friendly image and had a good track record with police.

“Alcohol is one of the earning areas we count on (and) we lost a lot of liquor sales,” Mr Engeman said. “I think we are becoming over-regulated. Some people didn’t appreciate not having the choice... what happened to personal responsibility?”

The new rules were brought in to cut down on binge-drinking and drunken behaviour, government sources say.

An Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing spokeswoman said each application was assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration crowd numbers and whether there was a history of complaints or incidents at a certain event.

Mr Engeman said it didn’t appear as though liquor licensing was looking at the individual organisation when making its decision. But he did admit a compromise was made with the authority, taking into account it was a “responsible show”.

“They gave us a bit of grace by allowing us to serve full-strength alcohol up to 7.30pm (however) it is all subject to us not having an incident,” he said.

Sober patrons said the new rules would simply encourage people to drink more before they arrived at an event or break the law by taking alcohol in concealed flasks to top up their drinks.

One said it would impact on the ability for responsible adults to enjoy events and exercise their own discretion with regard to alcohol.

Gympie Times


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