Community anger as Byron Bay Aldi applies for liquor licence

DISCOUNT supermarket chain Aldi has applied for a liquor licence for its Byron store outraging some locals who fear it will bring more alcohol-fuelled violence to the town.

Public submissions about the application, which was lodged on April 17, close this Friday, May 15.

Buddi Community Drug Action Team leader Nicqui Yazdi said allowing an Aldi bottle shop in Byron Bay was 'crazy' and would set a dangerous precedent.

"Once they open the door for one supermarket in Byron to sell alcohol it's entirely likely the others will follow suit," she said.

"Discount supermarket alcohol is just another thing we don't need in Byron."

Byron Liquor Accord member Darren Pearson echoed Ms Yazdi's views.

"I firmly believe that this will be a very bad idea in Byron Bay, with our significant alcohol-related issues," he said. "An Aldi licence will see a massive reduction in the real world price of the cheapest regular price of a carton of beer or bottle of wine in Byron Bay by 30% to 50%."

In the application, the German supermarket giant acknowledged many of the concerns expressed by those opposing the application have validity.

"For example, rates of alcohol-related assault remain high in Byron Bay, despite a discernible recent downward trend," the application read.

When a liquor licence application for Aldi's Taree store was rejected, the Independent Liquor Gaming Authority said: "In the Authority's view there will be adverse consequences from introducing a new discount retailer into a community with prevailing high levels of alcohol related crime".


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