Quaint l’il watering hole lovingly decorated with wallflowers and shrinking violets, The Ivy has topped the NSW Government’s bi-annual list of The Most Violent Licensed Venues [At Which To Stage Your Nan’s 90th], with the night-pub having recorded twenty-six violent assaults in the last year, making it the state’s only Level One venue.

To be granted the dubious honorific of a Level One venue, the establishment must have experienced more than nineteen violent incidents within a twelve month period, necessitating a 2am lockout, bans on shots and pre-mixed drinks with more than 5% alcohol after the witching hour.

Hospitality Minister George Souris today unveiled his list of the twenty-one venues which made the cut, each having recorded more than twelve violent incidents in a year and nearly half of which are located in regional areas of NSW. If anything, the list is a telling indictment on the state of alcohol-related assaults and the ineffectuality of licensing laws in regional areas of the state where there are pubs that – though they serve a smaller number of patrons per capita and can accommodate a fraction of the capacity of larger venues – are still managing to incite comparable numbers of violent incidents as those establishments which serve millions of punters a year and thousands on a single night.

It should be noted that this list is based on a fixed number of ‘assaults’ for every venue regardless of the size, capacity and patronage – as opposed to comparing the venues based on per capita incidents – so it’s not surprising that the biggest venue on the list has notched up the highest number. The Ivy may have topped the list, but what the heck is going on in Mudgee if a venue that only holds a few hundred patrons has the same amount of assaults? Karma kegs, maybe?

The Ivy Tops List Of NSW’s Most Violent Licensed Venues Again

This year’s list contains five more venues than the previous list published in May this year, which then prompted hospitality baron Justin Hemmes to reiterate that violence was statistically less likely to occur at his club considering the high volume of customers passing through: “With over 2 million customers annually, [Ivy] is statistically one of the safest venues in NSW, but we are determined to redouble our effort to make it safer and more secure. We acknowledge the great work of the government agencies from licensing to police and will continue to work closely with them to reduce the number of incidents.”

George Souris said that the government would begin “seeking legislative amendments” to the current Liquor Act, which would allow for “special powers” to impose further licensing restrictions before midnight for high-risk venues of the kind listed below, including an earlier ban on shots and glassware.

“This amendment would aim to ensure that venues, including country venues that have earlier closing times, can still be effectively targeted with conditions if violent incidents and high risk trading periods are occurring earlier,” said Brandis. 

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the reinvigorated crackdown comes a week prior to the implementation of mandatory identification scanners at 35 ‘high risk’ venues in Kings Cross where, as of December 6th, a twelve month trial will begin operating from 7pm on TGIFridays to 7am on Mad Mondays (and 24 hours either side of public holidays) which aims to prevent patrons ejected from one establishment kicking on at another. 

For your consideration, here’s the full list of venues. 

  • Ivy (26)
  • Waratah Hotel, Mudgee (18)
  • Cheeky Monkeys, Byron Bay (16)
  • Cocktails Bar and Niteclub, Lismore (16)
  • Mean Fiddler, Rouse Hill (15)
  • New Brighton Hotel, Manly (15)
  • Mean Fiddler, Rouse Hill (15)
  • Roxy Hotel, Parramatta (15)
  • Shore Club Hotel, Manly (14)
  • PJ’s Irish Pub, Parramatta (14)
  • Scruffy Murphy’s, CBD (14)
  • Sphere, Sutherland (14)
  • Imperial Hotel, Tamworth (14)
  • The World Bar, Kings Cross (14)
  • Penrith RSL, Penrith (13)
  • Lone Pine Tavern, Rooty Hill (13)
  • The Macarthur Tavern, Campbelltown (13)

via The SMHABCnews.com.au