By KIERAN FINNANE
Town Council rangers have had a “more difficult workload” since the removal of the Banned Drinkers Register, according to Mayor Damien Ryan. He told his fellow councillors last night that he had conveyed this message to the stakeholders’ meeting on alcohol issues convened by Deputy Chief Minister Robyn Lambley on October 5.
Under council’s Public Places by-laws public drinking is prohibited and rangers have the power to seize and empty open containers of liquor.
May Ryan said that each stakeholder representative at the October 5 meeting spoke of their organisation’s experience of alcohol issues and that the rangers’ “disappointment” was what he could speak about. He also commented on the bigger number of wine and spirit bottles found in the public open space since the scrapping of the BDR, which had “dissipated over time” with its introduction. Mayor Ryan was responding to a question from Councillor Jade Kudrenko about the meeting.
Meanwhile, his opposition to the NT Rock Bar’s application to extend its trading hours had evaporated as had Cr Eli Melky’s. Council had received an extension of time to comment on the application and last night voted to “not object”.
At right: The NT Rock Bar last night.
Cr Eli Melky said he had changed his mind after meeting with the licensee. He was satisfied that he runs his business well and that he fully understood council’s concerns with alcohol and anti-social behaviour issues. Cr Melky said he sought assurance from the licensee that he would attend relevant meetings to work towards resolving alcohol-related issues, which the licensee gave. He encouraged his colleagues to vote in the affirmative which the majority duly did. Crs Geoff Booth and Brendan Heenan were absent but had voted in the affirmative previously; only Cr Kudrenko abstained, though without comment.
Mayor Ryan said his “main” point when he spoke on this matter at the committee meeting was how to get Gaming and Licensing to understand council’s meeting cycle. He didn’t revisit the substance of the application.
Council has since been told that there shouldn’t be a problem with allowing enough time to comment on future applications.
By KIERAN FINNANE