Another attempt is being made to open a liquor store next to Woolworths in Bermagui.
An application has been sought to transfer an existing packaged liquor licence from Pam’s Store in Tilba Tilba to Bermagui - a distance of about 17km - for a Beer Wine Spirits shop in the town’s Woolworths complex. BWS is owned by Woolworths.
The plan was outlined in a letter, of which the Bega District News has a copy, sent to nearby residents of the proposed liquor outlet in order to complete a community impact statement (CIS).
On Wednesday, a BWS spokesperson said the company had listened to the community’s concerns about the potential for negative impacts from an “additional” licence in the local area.
“It is for this reason we have negotiated in good faith to relocate a nearby existing packaged liquor licence to complement the shopping experience for our Woolworths Bermagui supermarket customers who have warmly welcomed us into the local community,” the spokesperson said.
In 2014, Bega Valley Shire Council approved a second development application for a Woolworths complex in Bermagui which, unlike in the first DA, contained no liquor store after consultation with council staff.
However, an application for a liquor licence was later sought to install a BWS in a “retail tenancy” at the complex. This was refused by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) last November.
Part of ILGA’s reasoning for the refusal was there had been a relatively high number of alcohol-related assaults and disorderly conduct offences in the town compared to the rest of NSW.
The Bermagui Focus Group’s Paul Payten, who protested the first licence application, said there was a lot of resistance in the community to the new proposal.
“It has been a year since the last application was refused. This is a backdoor approach. It’s the same discussion, so why are we having it again?” he said.
On Thursday, a spokesperson for Liquor and Gaming NSW said no application for the transfer had yet been received by the department.
An application of this type must be submitted with a CIS, which is developed before an application is lodged so the applicant can respond to any community concerns.
It would be on the online Liquor and Gaming application noticeboard for a month before being determined.