Sydney Junction tops NSW violent venues list

TWO Newcastle hotels remain among the state’s most violent, according to the state government’s latest list of problem night spots.

The Sydney Junction Hotel remains in the most restrictive tier, category one, alongside Sydney’s Ivy and Munich Brau Haus.

It had the most incidents in the state with 25.

Comment has been sought from the venue’s owners, who have previously argued the system is flawed.

Owner Campbell Rogers claimsthe number of incidents is dwarfed by the number of patrons passing through their doors and that venues are penalised for a willingness to report incidents toauthorities.

“When you drill down the numbers, the busiest venues are usually the ones on the list,” owner Campbell Rogers said in May last year, when the pub emerged on the Liquor & Gaming list as a level two hotel with 16 incidents.

The latest numbers are an improvement onthe busy Hamilton venue’sNovember standing, when it had 30 incidents recorded in the year to that date.

While Sydney’s Ivy had 32 in that tally, it has since cut down to a total of 19 in the rolling total.

Level one venues are those with 19 or more incidents over the previous 12 months, while the second tier is generally between 12 and 18 incidents. Sporting stadiums are exempt from the scheme due to their “unique scale and nature of their operations”.

Level one and two venues face special licence conditions under the Liquor Act, while level three venues are put on notice they are edging towards those restrictions.

In terms of Hunter venues, the Beaumont Street pub is joined only by the King Street Hotel in the latest list. That venuehad 13incidents recorded on Liquor and Gaming NSW’s latest list.

Liquor and Gaming NSW deputy secretary Paul Newson said while six venues were added to the list, alcohol-linked non-domestic assaults had been falling at about 7 per cent annually in recent years.

“When comparing these latest results with the violent venues scheme’s first round in 2008, there has been an 83 per cent fall in the number of violent incidents at listed venues – from 1,270 to 213,” Mr Newson said.

“While any alcohol-related violence is unwanted, these results continue to show the vast majority of venues across NSW do the right thing and provide a safe environment for people to enjoy a night out.”

The new list also omits Shoal Bay’s Sea Breeze Hotel, which was one of only removed from the list after appearing last quarter.

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