Saint Patrick’s day is here again and celebrations on the border have included the traditional “green” theme, green attire, green beer, green hair, green body paint. Leprechaun costumes and four leaved clovers were the order of the day.
St. Patrick’s day of course has become synonymous with binge drinking so it’s possibly an apt occasion for the Albury council to meet and consider a submission put forward by Albury police to limit outdoor dining after midnight and an opposing argument put forward by Dean Street
greasy spoon eatery “Sweetheart’s Pizza”.
Police will put forward their case to restrict the on street trading of Sweetheart’s pizza (currently the only premises in Albury to have a licence to serve food on the street after midnight), but owner of Sweetheart’s, Daryl Betteridge has hit out at the suggestion.
He said that it was a smokescreen to cover up for police failings.
“I think it’s an abuse of their powers, I feel I’m being persecuted,” he said.
“Imagine the resources they’ve put into this (submission)”?
“We do not have a police force to create policy, they’re here to enforce the law”.
“They should get out there and do that rather than create situations that make small businesses untenable in the long term”.
“We’re not selling alcohol, we’re running a legal business”.
“I seriously question the police’s motive in this”.
“It seems like a personal vendetta because I was a vocal and outspoken opponent of the 1.30am lockout.”
Insp. John Wadsworth, of Albury police, said the move would eliminate groups of different age and demographics coming into contact and eventually clashing on the street.
“It just causes an unnecessary congestion of people,” Insp. Wadsworth said.
“People mill around, different groups meet up, they’ve got alcohol on board, they’re tired and tempers can fly”.
“We want to make outdoor dining streamlined in Dean Street”.
“We want to make sure people get home safely, we’re not trying to take business away from late night takeaways.”
I think it’s fairly clear that the appeal of Sweethearts’ appeal is limited to members of the population with a blood alcohol level of clinically dead, but it remains to be seen whether Albury council will leave it or heave it.
Perhaps a warning sign like the one below might be a nice compromise.
UPDATE: Albury councillors Nico Matthews (better known for alcohol consumption, drink driving and non-attendance of council meetings than for any council dealings) and Arthur Fraunfelder have sided against the move to ban outdoor
scavanging dining on Dean Street after midnight.
Albury council will discuss the move aimed at preventing fights breaking out around the “chuck” wagon at it’s meeting on Tuesday.