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"ACT licensing policy will condone drug use''



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AUSTRALIAN HOTELS ASSOCIATION ACT REGION

24 Brisbane Avenue Barton ACT 2600 · PO Box 4286 Manuka ACT 2603 · Australia email: theaha@ozemail.com.au · Facsimile: (02) 6273 7439 · Telephone (02) 6273 6633

MEDIA RELEASE

28 October 1999

“ACT Licensing Policy Will Condone Drug Use” ^ Hotels, taverns, and nightclubs have rejected plans by the ACT Government to force liquor licensees to install needle disposal units in their toilets. fa)CjL 1 a^c-e-ow-i* ^

Mr Andrew Wilsmore, General Manager for the Australian Hotels Association ACT branch said today “Our members have rejected plans by the ACT Government to facilitate drug use on their premise.

“We are dismayed that the Government has rejected our suggestion to install ultra violet ‘blue lights’ into toilets in an effort to discourage illicit drug use.

“Blue lights work by making it impossible for drug users to see their own veins and have been used successfully in cinemas and hospitality venues to discourage needle use in other states.

“Placing needle bins in toilet facilities of licensed premises will encourage illicit drug users to enter a licensed premise and ‘shoot up’ when otherwise they would have done so in their own homes or other safe controlled locations.

“Liquor licensees are not and should not have to be expected to be responsible for drug users and the negative impacts of their drug use. It is not our members’ responsibility to attend overdoses, call ambulances, counsel drug users or clean up after a user.

“It also places at risk other patrons who are socialising in an environment where illicit drug use is occurring. This is neither safe or in the community’s best interest.

“The Government also wants to make licensed premises provide free water to their patrons. This decision is based on helping users of stimulants such as ecstasy and speed from dehydrating.

“We are opposed to providing free water to our patrons for this purpose. The AHA is not prepared to support policy that is targeted at assisting drug users. Users of ecstasy and speed should not be supplied with free water.

“ Our members are not going to accommodate drug users. We are not willing to let our premises be used as a dance party for someone on ecstasy or speed.

“The AHA strongly urges the ACT Government to reconsider its decision to condone drug use in hospitality venues,” Mr Wilsmore said.

Enquiries: Mr Andrew Wilsmore - General Manager Phone: W: (02) 6273 6633 M: 0419 252 135 H: (02) 6282 6055