Bars make new pitch

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Queenstown bars are gearing up for their shot at dumping 4am closing times.

A scheduled Liquor Licensing Authority (LLA) review of the curfew next week gives the bars a chance to lobby for re-establishment of 24-hour licences.

After Queenstown Lakes District Council imposed the 4am limit 12 months ago – to curb late-night crime and violence – bar owners will argue on Tuesday that the curfew’s had no effect.

Submissions are being made by Good Group, which runs several CBD bars, plus Subculture, Bar Up, The Bunker, Tardis and SkyCity Casino.

Within Good Group’s submission is a plan to make the CBD safer at night, company boss Russell Gray says.
Good Group is in a working party with the likes of the police liquor licensing sergeant, mayor Clive Geddes and Public Health South looking at mitigation measures such as CCTV and late-night council wardens on the streets.
Separately, Good Group is mounting a High Court appeal on October 21 to overturn the 4am curfew.

The LLA’s curfew verdict may not be released until after the outcome of that appeal, LLA jurisdiction manager Bruce Holmes says.