The MONK Brewery on the Cappuccino Strip is applying for a change in license from restaurant to tavern, and I wonder if Fremantle Council will use their alcohol policy to reject the proposal or allow yet another venue in central Fremantle which main target is to sell as much alcohol as possible. Contrary to a restaurant license a tavern license does not require patrons to eat a meal while having a drink.
South Terrace already has the Norfolk, Sail&Anchor and Newport hotels, plus Benny’s Bar, two nightclubs and other licensed premises. Just down the road is the National Hotel and around the corner are the Strange Company and Whisper bars plus the Holy Smoke small bar in Collie Street, and also the Esplanade Hotel with two bars.
The negative anti-social impact of alcohol on society is without debate, and while no one should be a wowser about drinking, I believe the City of Fremantle does have a responsibility to look after the general public, even on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
So much for the City of Fremantle responsible alcohol policy and allowing large booze events in our city. WA TODAY reports that two young men in their early twenties were bashed unconscious on Sunday night as they were leaving the Fremantle Beer Festival on the Esplanade.
Friends who visited last year’s Beer Fest reported that many people were mindlessly drunk as early as 5 pm so maybe it is time for the City to say no to events that only attract large crowds because it is about drinking alcohol.
Having fun does not mean getting pissed!
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.