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Green plans to clean up the Nightlife

By johnboy - 14 September 2009 32

The Greens’ MLA Shane Rattenbury has announced the release of a discussion paper on reducing alcohol related violence.

Shane lists the key points of his plan as:

    — mandatory Responsible Service of Alcohol training to better equip staff to safely serve customers
    — revision of the existing licensing fee structure to recover the cost of carrying out venue inspections from licensees
    — a voluntary Liquor Accord system to provide licensees with financial incentives to adopt proven violence reduction strategies within venues
    — legislation to prohibit irresponsible drink pricing
    — improved lighting of public spaces and better night time public transport to foster a sense of security.

As I rarely frequent Mooseheads these days I’m curious as to what others think about alcohol related violence, but here are some points on how I recall it working:

    1. If you’re not being a cock it’s amazing how little violence will occur.
    Apologise when you bump into someone, get them another drink if you spill one. If you’re not going around groping girls you don’t know, well it’s almost impossible to grope someone’s girlfriend.

    2. Walking away works well too.
    Somedays you’ll just get someone’s back up or vice versa. Just going to another bar beats the hell out of getting angry and drunk.

    3. Mean arseholes are mean arseholes with or without beer.
    The sort of people who gang up to beat up a stranger have not been magically transformed into wankers by the demon drink, they were bastard coated bastards right from the start. Keeping them happily leering at the bottle blondes in the bar who wear too much spray tan and not enough lycra is probably safer for the public in general than turfing them out onto the street. More custodial sentences for assaults probably wouldn’t hurt either.

People who keep to points 1 and 2 rarely have much trouble in my experience (but I’m happy to be contradicted by our many readers who have to work in Civic at night). It concerns me that the trouble caused by people (usually men) of the point 3 disposition could actually be made worse by some of these proposals.

I’ve also got some concerns that any scheme which imposes penalties on bars where violence occurs could encourage security staff to engage in cover ups.

More lighting and better after hours public transport is, however, something I think we can all get behind.

Anyway it’s a discussion paper at this point, which means they’re looking for your thoughts on the issues.

Alcohol related violence in Canberra

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Green plans to clean up the Nightlife
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j from the block 2:20 pm 16 Sep 09

I’d be a supporter of lockin’s if there were outdoor smoking areas that were able to be “enclosed ” and patrolled, otherwise there would be no point, logistically, telling the roaming idiots they couldn’t come in, because of the lockin, but that guy smoking could (I am thinking Civic).
The lockin’s would also impact on the pub to pub mentality that goes on in Civic on a weekend, I see first hand the Shooters to Mooseheads treks that go on, and if the lockin was at 12/1ish, when the “cheap drinks” are finished, most folk would leave soon after, as opposed to club hopping.
Also a blanket close time of say 1am would put all the idiots, cranky they can’t get a drink out at the same time. Remember the 6 o’clock swill? (I don’t, but I do tend to read up on bar history)

Pandy 8:58 pm 15 Sep 09

Guys, “12pm” means midday. Means look ’em in

Special G 3:30 pm 15 Sep 09

“they are a great guy / girl, they just turn into a XXXX when they drink” – What? – They turn into a beer.

j – I completely agree with you. those who do shouldn’t drink yet they continue doing so. Assaults etc are looked upon like anything else in the ACT courts as a very minor offence.

Start lobbying the govt for better legislation to deal with them and better transport options at night to get rid of the drunks.

ahappychappy 2:37 pm 15 Sep 09


Bring back the old days. Nothing kills a muppets ego better than getting the sh!t kicked out of himself infront of all the people he’s been acting up infront of.

j from the block 1:03 pm 15 Sep 09

The muppet in question is now banned from King Omalleys, Pj’s, Old Canberra Inn, Mooseheads, my place of work, Shooters, and a few more I think.
A common problem we find is the ones who come back the next day after causing trouble, or have their friends come in and say “they are a great guy / girl, they just turn into a XXXX when they drink”. Normal response is, ok, so they shouldn’t drink. Especially here. If you know that happens to you, I fail to see why you would continually do it, if you were such a “great guy”, but, I see it every weekend.
It was a lot easier when we just used to throw them out the back door, and feminazi’s feel free to go feral at me, but if a gent is harassing or offensive towards women, I will kick him out. Oh, this goes for all over zealous folk really, it’s just seen more often in blokes in my experience, straight or not, seem to get a bit tipsy and think it’s ok to be all Gropey Mc Grope.
And, as I have been hammered on this site from time to time, I am in no way pro bouncer thuggery, and I would say a good 95% of the time I manage to get people out the door with some polite discussion, and the offer of some fresh air and or a cigarette, so we can talk things through. On the odd occaision when this doesn’t work, nowadays, I call the po po rather than take a visit to calvary, but in the old days if someone was causing a nuisance to customers and had already thrown a few (they always forget you are sober, and normally faster), it would be out the back door and into the alley.

ahappychappy 12:28 pm 15 Sep 09

j from the block said :

While there are a number of venues a little too cool for school when it comes to sharing information, alcohol and advice, many of us still hold the “honour among thieves” mentality.

Here lies the best form of justice in these cases. If people are aware of the actions of individuals then they wont be welcome. Sure, some bars just want cash from patrons, but the majority will not want troublemakers compared to cash.
I don’t think there is “more” violence going on either, I think it is just reported more often and on a wider scale. I also agree with 90% of the occurances of violence are pre-planned, however I would say only a small portion of such would be pre-planned by both parties. Usually, the pre-plan is just that a muppet wants to start trouble – he’s just waiting for an excuse (as lame as eye-contact) to start the trouble.

j from the block 11:15 am 15 Sep 09

And in regards to the po po, in the first instance I have had to call them for where I work (a pub with no security in Civic), the idiot in question was dumb enough to hang around, and when the po po did turn up and he tried to leg it, the friendly boys next door (security) helped out. It was about 5-8 minutes, and it was all sorted professionally, he was out the next day (the night off the street seemed to have made him change his mind about killing me)and word had spread well through the Civic crowd of bar and security staff (we do talk, and help each other out often).
While there are a number of venues a little too cool for school when it comes to sharing information, alcohol and advice, many of us still hold the “honour among thieves” mentality.

j from the block 10:36 am 15 Sep 09

Many interesting posts on this one. I’ve been working bars in and around Civic as security and barman since 96. Looking back over that time, I don’t think the fights are more or less frequent, or that the view of barstaff towards RSA (with or without a piece of paper) have really changed all that much.
I work next to a bar that sells spirits for $3, but I also remember drinking Jugs at Pandoras, and I managed a place that had a 2 buck tuesday promotion, you can sell drinks cheap and still serve responsibility, but it depends on the bar staff.
Muppets will be muppets.

P Taker 9:24 am 15 Sep 09

ahappychappy said :

Pandy said :

12pm closing time. Problem solved

What does that solve? “Let’s throw all the drunks out at the same time, that’ll show ’em!”

No, all that does is put ALL the troublemakers in one place at the same time whilst angry. Sure, the Police will be present as they know when and where everyone will be. But you’ve just made all the drunks in the city move to the one spot… now just sit back, watch the fireworks and watch the rates of assaults/problems rise.

I agree with not having a city-wide closing time. When i was in Brisbane (they have the 3am rule there – where once you leave a club you cant get in anywhere else) a friend was telling me at 3am the bouncers have their fun and pick on people they dont like, kicking them out and making them mad. We do not want angry young people walking around at 3am.

Another thing the only fights i have seen / heard in Civic have been between parties that knew each other. This whole post has been about random jerks and assholes, but in reality it will be people recognising someone they dislike or specifically heading out to civic to find who they are looking for and attacking them. I have heard of this happening more then a random attack.

Special G 7:04 am 15 Sep 09

dvaey said :

Special G said :

There is not that much ice being taken be average joe punters. Throw a generous serve of alcohol and some pills into the mix and see what you get.

Slightly off-topic, but ‘pills’ arent known as the love/hug-drug for no reason. People on pills and alcohol are more likely to give a stranger a hug than a king-hit, and those on pot are likely to just sit in the corner with their quiet drink. Ice and other harder drugs on the other hand, I agree with you that they can create situations that can get out of hand too easily.

I will disagree with you on the hug thing. I have had more than enough people wanting to break their foot on my arse over the past 13 years of working around clubs who were clearly under the influence of alcohol and pills. Take one angry person, add alcohol then pep them up a whole bunch. Makes for an interesting combination.

Juice Terry 1:22 am 15 Sep 09

Pandy said :

12pm closing time. Problem solved

That’s exactly what they are trying to get rid of in the UK. For years they have had the midnight or 2am kicking out times and as another poster mentioned above, it just gets all the brawlers out on the street at once – drunk and with nothing else to do but punch-on and partake in a nice bit of public disorder. The laws have recently changed to allow pubs and clubs to choose their own closing time, and avoiding abovementioned situations. Sorted. Kind of…

Up The Duffy 11:35 pm 14 Sep 09

“As a GenXer”: The cops used to give you a beating in the cells, and turf you out onto the street just as the “hangover” and “pain” was setting in and all without a charge against you. I think its still better than the softly softy approach. I think it was safer to walk around late at night then, than it is now. Arr the early 80s, indy music punk rock 🙂

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