Dan Murphy's opening challenged

COFFS HARBOUR’S new Dan Murphy’s store isn’t even built yet but it’s already drawn fire from hoteliers.

The CEO of the Australian Hotels Association in NSW, Sally Fielke, says the outlet on the Pacific Highway in the CBD should ensure it practises responsible sale of alcohol and put the interest of the community first.

She said the ‘proliferation of cheap liquor supply outlets’ was worrying.

“Obviously there are concerns in the community about anti-social behaviour. What alarms us is these big liquor barns off-loading bulk discount liquor into the community unchecked on a daily basis,” Ms Fielke said.

“Alcohol is a legal product but it does need to be regulated. Hotels in Coffs Harbour work hard to adhere to strict responsible service of alcohol provisions. We encourage the responsible service of alcohol. We work with police and local residents to ensure our venues provide a safe environment for the community.”

Ms Fielke said people drinking cut-price liquor at home did not have the same checks and balances and, of particular concern, was the potential for underage drinkers to access liquor barns.

“Earlier this year we saw in the media cases where young drinkers were having alcohol delivered to their door from bulk liquor outlets – a worrying development.

“Let’s not forget that 90 per cent of alcohol-related crime occurs away from licensed premises and that 70 per cent of all alcohol purchased is actually consumed at home.

“These new liquor barns have a responsibility to the people of your community and they need checks and balances in place just like hotels.”

Only last week, a spokesman for the Dan Murphy’s parent company Woolworths told The Advocate Dan Murphy’s had a track record of responsible sale of alcohol ‘second to none’.

“(The outlet) will create 30 new jobs and they are people who we give a lot of training to to be knowledgeable about the products and to maintain a leading industry approach to the responsible sale of alcohol,” the spokesman said.

The store is due to open by the middle of next year.

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