We live in a world of awards for just about everything and many of them are pretty irrelevant and meaningless because of the lack of research done. Some awards simply tick a few boxes and for example take Local Government’s submissions as a fact, instead of checking out the reality.
The McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol Awards appears to belong to the latter because the City of Fremantle has been nominated as a finalist For it’s no tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour at events and its promotion of a small bar culture and liquor reform in the area.
It is clear the McCusker Foundation does not know that on the same evening Fremantle Council signed off on its alcohol policy it also approved the establishment of a new tavern and live music venue for up to 1,500 patrons at J Shed on historic Arthur Head, and is in the process of approving a micro-brewery at the former Energy Museum, just around the corner from St Patrick’s that deals with people with drug and alcohol related problems.
If my memory is correct, in times of the biggest community turmoil about Council ignoring community consultation, the City of Fremantle received an award for its excellent community consultation process.
It might all sound great on paper and in a one-eyed submissions by COF officers, but unfortunately the reality is a whole different ball game. As I pointed out here recently the Fremantle Accord on responsible service of alcohol is just another lip service with many pubs now offering happy hours and cheaper drinks, with the National Hotel even having two a day, one during lunchtime hours.
For the City of Fremantle to receive an award, or even be a finalist, in the McCusker alcohol award it would need to do a whole lot better, and not be hypocritical by ignoring its own alcohol policy.