Thursday 26 February 2015
The provisional Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) will be publicly notified next week after it was approved at today's (February 26) Council meeting.
The public notification will occur on Tuesday 3 March and enables individuals and organisations who made submissions on the draft LAP to have the opportunity to appeal the provisional policy.
Appeals are made to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA) and must be made within 30 days of the notification.
Only people who submitted on the draft LAP during October and November 2013 can appeal against the provisional LAP, with the exception of the Police and Medical Officers of Health who have a statutory right to appeal.
Appeals on any part of the provisional LAP can only be made on the grounds that the LAP is unreasonable in light of the objectives of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.
Group Manager Environmental Services Jane Donaldson says if no appeals are lodged the policy will be adopted 30 days after the public notification on 3 March. Public notice will then be given of its adoption. The policy will come into force three months later.
If appeals are received, the adoption of the policy has to wait until all appeals are resolved.
Council received 207 submissions on the draft LAP, with the majority commenting on trading hours and the proposed one way door policy.
Ms Donaldson says while it is not a statutory requirement for Council to develop a LAP, by having one in place, Ashburton District Council has greater controls over when, where and how alcohol is sold.
Council approved a provisional LAP in April last year, subject to the outcome of the first round of appeal hearings to be heard by ARLA.
"The outcomes of the first round of appeals to other district councils' LAPs have no impact on this Council's provisional policy and we are proceeding to the next stage."
Councillor Alan Totty, chair of Environmental Services Committee, says Council has made changes to the policy that will not suit everyone but this is an example of the tough decisions councillors sometimes need to make.
"We have a responsibility to have a Local Alcohol Policy that supports the objectives of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act to provide for the safe and responsible sale and supply of alcohol and to minimise harm caused by alcohol," Cr Totty says.
"Council arrived at a policy we believe is in the best interests of our community as a whole."
The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 enables territorial authorities to develop a LAP to set rules concerning the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol.
Council decided on 13 December 2012 it would develop a LAP.
Following that decision, Council established the Alcohol Policy Working Group to collectively assess the issues and district's needs in relation to alcohol and licensing matters, evaluate options and to recommend a draft LAP to Council.
Through a series of workshops, the LAP working group developed a proposed draft LAP, which was recommended to Council and subsequently adopted for consultation.
Council adopted the draft LAP on 3 October 2013 which then went out for community consultation.
Council received 207 submissions on the draft LAP policy and after considering all submissions, made some changes to the policy.
These changes include:
- A one-way door restriction (patrons can leave but not enter the premises) to apply to all tavern-style licensed premises in the Ashburton urban area only from 1am. The draft policy proposed a one-way door restriction from 1am for all premises throughout the district. Council decided this was likely to be unworkable for some rural premises and that street disorder issues were primarily in the Ashburton urban area. The one-way door restriction has been added to available discretionary conditions across the district which will give the District Licensing Committee the ability to impose a one-way door for particular premises.
- Closing time for tavern-style licensed premises has been pulled back to 2am, from the 3am close time proposed in the draft LAP. Councillors agreed with the submission from the Medical Officer of Health that if there was not a district-wide one way door restriction then an earlier closing time should be in place. Council believes the 2am closing time is in the best interests of the wider community in terms of reducing alcohol related harm in the community.
Council approved a provisional LAP in April 2014. This was subject to the outcome of the first round of appeal hearings on other councils' LAPs.