Assembly gets tough on liquor licences

Lae News, Normal

The National, Wednesday 21st December 2011

ALL liquor trading licences in Morobe will expire at the end of this month, provincial liquor licensing chairman Bill Singo­ling said yesterday.
The provincial executive council met yesterday and endorsed a resolution that licences for all liquor distribution wholesalers, taverns, motels, hotels and take-away shops would expire at the end of the calendar year.
This means liquor license holders in rural and urban settlements will go through ward councillors and local level government offices for approval documents to be certified by the provincial liquor licensing board for renewals.
For motels, hotels, taverns, lodges and guest houses, the board will decide renewals based on investigation, merit and credibility of the owners and operators, Singoling said.
He said the provincial government was taking stringent measures to tighten liquor and alcohol trading in the province to combat growing abuse.
Other actions endorsed by the council were:
l    There would be a liquor ban imposed on settlements from Yalu Bridge to Situm for an indefinite period from January to allow police to deal with problems arising from drinking homebrew and the use of illicit drugs; and
l    All Niugini fruit alcoholic drinks (live lave), Vitis Industries alcohol drinks (coffee punch) and Mountain fruit drink, a newly introduced alcoholic drink from Jiwaka, be banned in the province;
Singoling said the Mountain fruit drink was being sold at a trading outlet near Yalu Bridge.
“For the betterment of the families, community and the society, we set mechanisms in place to ensure people move around freely without harassment and intimidation.
“And importantly, for fathers to spend time at homes with their families during this time of celebration,” Singoling said.
“The liquor ban in Lae city and parts of Nawaeb and Huon Gulf districts still remain and most settlements experienced no liquor-related problems,” he said.
Singoling appealed to clubs and taverns to educate their clients because of the growing number of fights and rapes that has seen victims being admitted at the Angau Memorial Hospital.