Sunday, August 16, 2009

rotto boozo

Greg Brimble must be preparing his expression of interest so he can keep control of the Thomson and Geordie stores (see yesterday’s post).

Greg (who we think also has the Dewsons and servo at Canning Bridge) owned the stores 10 years ago, when he clinched the liquor licence for the Thomson Bay outlet (he already had one at Geordie) under his company name Maranel Pty Ltd. The decision of the liquor licensing director back then is an interesting read.

Unsurprisingly, the Lodge and the hotel objected to the application.

‘The applicant says the packaged liquor needs of…tourists are not being met by the two other packaged liquor outlets on the Island because the Rottnest Island Hotel is located at the southern end of the Thomson Bay settlement and the Geordie Bay liquor store is approximately 1.5 kilometres north of Thomson Bay. The applicant suggests that the Rottnest Hotel has a very limited range of packaged liquor, its prices are excessive and there is no separate browsing area where members of the public can examine and select their purchases of packaged liquor.’

Greg submitted 375 signatures from people who supported the application. He tabled a letter of support from the acting CEO of the RIA, John Mitchell, which said the RIA also supported the application as “…the Authority has a clear commitment to encourage the public to purchase much of their food and liquor requirements from businesses on the Island, so as to ease congestion on the ferries. The applicant also tabled 50 letters from individuals and companies supporting the establishment of a liquor store in Thomson Bay. Most letters expressed some dissatisfaction with the facilities at the Rottnest Hotel.”

Others came in to bat for Greg: Grant Garrett and Meredith Greay, and Linda Kenny-Castle and Kyle Surman: “Mr Surman, who travels to Rottnest on his own boat with his family, finds it convenient to purchase packaged liquor prior to travelling to the Island because of the difficulty of obtaining packaged liquor on the Island when they moor at Thomson Bay.”

A bit on how much booze people took over was surprising: “Mr Vince Kawiti, a clerk employed by Transfield Pty Ltd, a company that operates the Rottnest Jetty, gave evidence about the amount of packaged liquor that is included in the personal luggage delivered to tourist accommodation on the Island. In the opinion of Mr Kawiti between 20 and 30 per cent of all luggage is packaged liquor. This includes a substantial amount, which is delivered direct to resident holidaymakers from licensed premises on the mainland particularly Liquorland in Fremantle.”

The police had their say: “…the number of alcohol related incidents that occurred on the Island in the year 1998/99…street drinking was the most common incident and in the year 475 cautions and 27 infringements notices were issued in respect of street drinking.”

The LL director mulled this and other stuff over. He said there was a want for booze in Thomson Bay, and going to Geordie or the hotel would be inconvenient: “The distance by mainland standards is not great but peculiar circumstances of the Island where private motor vehicles are not permitted would amount to some inconvenience.”

The hotel had plenty of booze at reasonable prices – but its standards for buying booze “…do not adequately meet the contemporary standards now expected by the public when it comes to purchasing packaged liquor. In my opinion it is not appropriate that members of the public should be required to cross through a crowded public bar to purchase packaged liquor from a member of staff whose primary task is to serve customers for consumption on the premises. One can readily understand the concern of some women in having to enter a public bar and compete with other members of the public for service.”

In this regard the director had wine wankers on his mind: “The display of packaged liquor, particularly wine, so that customers can examine the product before purchase is now very much part of the contemporary scene and the absence of such facilities at the Rottnest Island Hotel in my view means that members of the public are put to inconvenience and difficulty when they attempt to purchase packaged liquor.”

The licence was granted and cost $105. Opening hours noon to 6pm, no trading on Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday or before noon on Anzac Day.

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