THE owner of the Sydney Junction Hotel at Hamilton has defended his pub’s rise onto the State’s violent venues list, stating the 16 reported alcohol-related incidents in a year needed to be compared to the 300,000 patrons who had entered the establishment.
The recently-renovated Beaumont Street pub, which has quickly become one of the hottest places in town for young revellers, had the third highest number of alcohol-related violent incidents according to Liquor and Gaming NSW.
The Ivy was named as the only Level 1 venue, with 36 violent incidents.
There were 10 new venues added to the Level 2 list – where there were between 12 and 18 incidents.
That included the Sydney Junction with 16 incidents while Shoal Bay Country Club (11 incidents) has been removed from the list.
Under the violent venues scheme, special licence conditions could be imposed on premises on the lists.
Sydney Junction owner Campbell Rogers said he employed 20 security on Saturday nights and argued a more accurate figure would be a ratio between the number of violent incidents against the number of patrons.
“It is 16 incidents [a year] where there is 5000 people that come through the venue every week,’’ Mr Rogers said.
“When you drill down the numbers, the busiest venues are usually the ones on the list.
“Our patrons are telling us they love coming here because it is a big, safe and open venue.’’
Liquor and Gaming NSW deputy secretary Paul Newson said it was common for numbers of listed venues to fluctuate from round to round.
“This latest list follows the scheme’s best ever results six months ago when for the first time there were no venues in level one,” Mr Newson said.
“Listed venues will be closely monitored but the results show the level of violent incidents remains on a longer-term downward trend.
“The violent venues scheme has made a significant contribution to this reduction and helped ensure the community can enjoy safer nights out, with an 82 per cent fall in the number of violent incidents since first established in 2008.’’
Nathan Errington, of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber was working closely with police.
“The recent release of statistics relating to a late-night venue are disturbing, but in no way
indicative of Hamilton’s wider business and hospitality area or the suburb generally,’’ Mr Errington said.
“The chamber wants Hamilton to be the new flavour of cosmopolitan inner-city living.
“That means accessible and friendly to all who enter the suburb and business precinct.
“The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce abhors the behaviour that generated the unwanted statistics.
“We will continue to collaborate with police, and work with our members, businesses, the community and government to position Hamilton as the premier place to live, work and play responsibly.’’