Grants of up to $5,000 are up for grabs for hardworking local liquor accord groups to help fund projects that will reduce violence in and around licensed premises.
Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said applications were now open for a share in more than $100,000 in funding from the Bligh Government towards projects targeting public safety, combating alcohol use and abuse, and educating the vulnerable.
“Liquor accord groups are already making a difference here in the far north and the Bligh Government is encouraging local groups to continue their hard work,” Mr Pitt said.
“Grants of up to $5,000 will fund projects that will make positive improvements to public safety in and around licensed premises. They will go to those who have the best and brightest ideas to make our venues and our neighbourhoods safer for everyone.”
Mr Pitt said liquor accord groups were the pioneers of patron banning schemes that were now operating effectively in a collection of venues.
“I met with the Cairns City Licensee Safety Association last year and was very impressed with the safety measures they’ve put in place to make venues safer for patrons. They have a drink promotions policy and have established a radio connection with council security. On top of that, their patron banning scheme sends out a strong message that problem drinking will not be tolerated.”
“Other groups have implemented harm minimisation initiatives like designated driver programs and responsible drinking education in schools all very successful initiatives,” Mr Pitt said.
Mr Pitt said the grants are part of the State Government’s strategy to strengthen liquor accords in Queensland, by providing the financial assistance needed to continue to deliver results in local communities.
“Grant applications for education programs, designated driver programs and resources such as signage, posters or brochures, and any other measures to improve precinct safety are encouraged,” Mr Pitt said.
“With the Government’s strong emphasis on reducing alcohol related violence, these grants couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Mr Pitt said there are more than 90 liquor accord groups in Queensland and numbers are growing.
“The groups are formed voluntarily by licensees, local business, government representatives and concerned citizens,” Mr Pitt said.
“Over time, these local groups have multiplied and gained momentum, looking to each other for support to deliver real results to the community and we, as a government, are committed to supporting them.”
The grants will see new harm minimisation projects for the community, building on the recent initiatives that came out of the parliamentary inquiry into alcohol-related violence.
“I commend groups in the Cassowary Coast for also taking a tough stance on unacceptable patron behaviour.
“For instance, the Tully Liquor Accord banned an 18-year-old Tully Heads man from local pubs and hotels for life, in a tough move against alcohol-related problems,” he said.
Liquor accord grant applications close on 29 April 2011. Successful groups will be notified in June 2011. To apply visit www.olgr.qld.gov.au