Stirling council debates liquor store concerns

Stock image.
Stock image.

A CITY of Stirling report shows the number of liquor stores approved per year is consistent despite a councillor saying residents are concerned they were increasing.

Cr Elizabeth Re wanted the City to convey ratepayers’ concerns to the State Government about the “increasing number of liquor stores being approved”, which she said they believed was resulting in “itinerant attendees” and antisocial behaviour nearby.

A City report presented at the August 13 council meeting found the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor issued 13 liquor licenses for stores in the City in the past three financial years – five in 2018-19 and four each in the previous two years.

It said it had not received any complaints about liquor stores in the past several years and the use and availability of alcohol was being investigated as part of its forthcoming Public Health Plant.

Cr Re said the 13 licenses was “significant” and wanted people to be aware they were not issued by the City.

But Cr Bianca Sandri said businesses could not attain a license unless they had development approval from the City so if there was a perceived problem with liquor stores they should “look inwards”.

Cr David Boothman opposed the motion because there was no evidence of an increase and according to Cr Adam Spagnolo, it was not a large number of stores across the City’s 105sq kms and council “could look rather foolish if we don’t have our stats correct”.

Council instead voted 9-4 to investigate the impact of alcohol use as part of the Public Health Plan.