A total of 35 fines have been handed out by police in the Benalla area in an effort to curb alcohol-related violence, Member for Northern Victoria Region, Candy Broad said.
Under the Brumby Labor Government’s new laws which came into effect in December, police have issued more than 3,100 on-the-spot fines of $234 for a number of public order offences to target drunk and unruly b
Ms Broad said that in the Benalla area in a little over two months:
- 27 of fines have been handed to individuals for being drunk in a public place;
- 3 for being drunk and disorderly in a public place;
- 3 for behaving in a disorderly manner; and
- 2 for contravening a police direction to move on.
“These laws have provided local police with the powers they need to tackle drunken and loutish behaviour,” Ms Broad said.
“There’s simply no excuse for drinking too much, becoming a nuisance, or worse, being a threat to yourself and everyone else.”
Ms Broad said that the new laws had been such a success that the Brumby Labor Government this week introduced amendments to the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 and Summary Offences Act 1966 to increase the maximum penalty for five offences relating to drunkenness or disorderly conduct.
Under the proposed legislation, on-the-spot penalties for the offences of ‘drunk’, ‘drunk and disorderly’, ‘disorderly’, ‘behaving in a riotous, indecent or offensive manner’ and ‘failure to leave a licensed premises’ would be doubled to $468.
“As well as doubling these on-the-spot penalties, the new legislation also triples the amount of time police can ban someone from a designated area or licensed premises from 24 hours to 72 hours,” Ms Broad said.
“We are telling those people that enough is enough, and if they continue to act in an antisocial way they will find themselves, quite literally, in double the trouble.
“It’s therefore disappointing to see that the introduction of this bill comes just days after Ted Baillieu announced that if elected, he would water down tough new laws to ban drunks and troublemakers from entertainment precincts from 72 hours, back to 24 hours.
“The Brumby Labor Government has introduced these measures to send a very clear message to drunken and antisocial revellers that acting up and behaving inappropriately is completely unacceptable,” Ms Broad said.
Since banning notices were introduced in 2007, more than 2900 people have been banned from a designated area for 24 hours. Under the amended legislation, the period of banning will triple to 72 hours.