Falcon bottle shop application knocked back over concerns of damage to community


Miami Plaza Shopping Centre in Falcon. Picture: Jon Hewson.
Miami Plaza Shopping Centre in Falcon. Picture: Jon Hewson.

AN application for a BWS store at Falcon was refused by the Director of Liquor Licensing because of the potential for an increase in alcohol-related harm and ill-health.

A report from the director cited relatively high rates of domestic violence, unemployment and social disadvantage in Falcon.

Woolworths submitted a review of the refusal, but the decision was upheld on December 23.

Woolworths proposed a BWS store adjacent to the supermarket in Miami Plaza Shopping Centre.

On July 19, 2016, the delegate of the Director of Liquor Licensing refused the application on the basis that the potential negative impact of introducing another convenience style packaged liquor outlet in the locality, outweighed the marginal benefits of an increased level of convenience to some members of the community.

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Woolworths acknowledged there were indicators suggesting a degree of relative disadvantage in Falcon, such as unemployment and single parent family levels higher than the State average.

The Social Economic Indexes for Areas ranking shows “relative disadvantage” for the area.

However, the applicant noted other indicators showed that there were lower levels of at-risk groups in Falcon.

Woolworths submitted that disadvantage is not, in itself, sufficient to warrant a refusal of an application.

The director’s report stated the BWS in Falcon might negatively impact the community when the social and demographic profile was taken into consideration.

For example, research suggested a positive correlation between packaged liquor outlet density and rates of domestic violence.

“There was compelling evidence that the grant of the application would, in the light of the existing level of alcohol-related harm and ill-health in the locality, result in an unacceptable degree of likely harm,” the report said.

“It is not in the public interest to grant the application.”

 

Public Health data

* The unemployment rate in Falcon is 7.9 per cent – significantly higher than the State rate of 4.7 per cent.

* Falcon is identified on the SEIFA indices as being statistically disadvantaged.

 

Police data

* Between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015 there were 148 reported domestic assaults in Falcon, of which 47 per cent were alcohol related.

* The rate of alcohol-related domestic assaults increased each year in the period and the rate of alcohol-related domestic assaults in Falcon nearly doubled to be more than twice the State rate.

* There was a 50 per cent increase in alcohol-related domestic assaults from 21 in 2014 to 32 in 2015.