Alcohol ban impact
Bright Days and Rod Run organisers worry for future of events if laws change
ORGANISERS of two of Bright’s major drawcards have voiced concerns about the possible impact proposed changes to local laws will have on their events and others.
In September, Alpine Shire Council commenced a Local Law review in an effort to consolidate and simplify local law.
In drafting Community Local Law 2019 almost 60 representatives from 12 different groups across the shire were consulted along with Victoria Police and other major bodies.
Among the key proposals are changes to the consumption of alcohol in public places that if passed, will prohibit alcohol at all times in areas where it was previously allowed between 7pm and 10pm.
There is, however, criteria for particular events to be exempt from the restrictions if they meet certain conditions.
Brighter Days Festival and Bright’s Iconic Rod Run attract thousands of people each year, many of who are able to enjoy a drink on the street or by the river over the course of the weekends.
Brighter Days vice president Jason Reid said current laws set Bright apart from other towns.
“Our town’s unique and we’re able to do what we do because we have these bylaws,” he said.
“My theory is if ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
In the six year history of Brighter Days there has been no incidents of violence or anti-social behaviour.
In fact the festival has quickly grown to become one of the most popular family events in the state due to its work raising money for a number of children’s charities.
However, the 2014 edition of Bright’s Iconic Rod Run was marred by several brawls which lead to an alcohol curfew between 8.30pm and midday.
Since the curfew was introduced there has been no major incidents of violence or anti-social behaviour.
Rod Run secretary Tracy Pawlick said if introduced, the new laws could change the entire dynamic of both the long running car event and music and charity festival.
“For years we’ve tried to get all these events into town, and particularly the Rod Run and Brighter Days which generate so much, I just cannot see the justification in sweeping bylaw changes and the potential to lose the numbers that are coming here for these events,” she said.
Both parties are also con- cerned that there will be added costs to running their events.
“We’re concerned about who’s responsible down the track for monitoring and the cost of monitoring the issue,” Mr Reid said.
“If they give us a permit but put constraints around the permit and the expense is too great that would severely limit the opportunity to run the festivals.”
Ms Pawlick said the changes would also dictate how locals and visitors are able to socialise outdoors.
“You actually won’t be able to go down the park for a glass of wine or a beer without a permit,” she said.
“We think its overkill and it’s just going to create a nightmare for those trying to enforce it.”