DISCOVERY Darwin manager Andy Price is spot on when he says personal responsibility is key to managing the harms associated with the Territory’s drinking culture.
It shouldn’t be too hard to go out and enjoy a few drinks without punching someone in the head or winding up a burden on our health system by drinking yourself into a chronic health condition. But sadly, for some people, that seems too much to ask (surely this applies to all venues in Australia regardless of locale!).
Mr Price reckons established players in the Darwin entertainment scene aren’t heeding his wisdom on the value of personal responsibility. He argues those established players are being forced to disregard their obligations under responsible service of alcohol regulations so they can stay competitive against an influx of new small bars in the city.
Pubs and clubs have legal requirements upon them to act responsibly when selling alcohol. Not everyone can be trusted to exhibit that much-needed personal responsibility.
Unfortunately, that means we have to rely on others to enforce the rules. If you have the right to sell alcohol, you’re signing up to act as mum to the lowest common denominator who can’t be trusted to act responsibly. Venues can’t sign away these responsibilities just because of competition for custom.
Mr Price suggests a buyback of alcohol licences or a moratorium on issuing new ones. Doing so would certainly make things easier for existing bars as patrons would be crammed into the same few drinking holes — a captive market of drinkers for a few big players.
But it wouldn’t be good for Darwin as a whole or its residents.
Darwin’s CBD needs vitality brought by a competitive entertainment scene. Instead of breaking the rules to attract custom, venues should make their establishments better than the rest.
Source : NT News, 21 July 2017