A PUBLIC meeting was held on Monday to discuss the Woolworth’s application for a liquor licence for a shop at its proposed development in Young St, Bermagui.
Around 40 members from the community came to hear the latest on the development as Paul Payten and Sean Burke of the Bermagui Focus Group led the proceedings.
The company took out plans for a liquor store in the DA that was approved by Bega Valley Shire Council in April following consultation with council staff and concern from councillors about the need for another liquor outlet in the town (BDN 18/4).
However, in July residents near the Young St site were sent letters from BWS, a company wholly owned by Woolworths, regarding an application for a liquor licence for Shop 1 in the proposed Woolworths supermarket complex (BDN 29/7).
Mr Payten said the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) are currently collating information about the liquor licence application to put on its noticeboard soon.
Once it is on the noticeboard, there is a 30 day exhibition period where people can submit a community impact statement about their views on the licence application.
“So it is not open to comment yet but the committee decided to gather here to keep everyone informed as there are only 30 days to comment when the application goes online,” Mr Burke said.
In addition to this, those who attended discussed their concerns about another liquor takeaway outlet, which would take the figure in the town to four if Woolworths’ application is accepted.
One person from the crowd said as there are 2000 people in the town, if the licence is accepted it will mean there is a take away outlet for every 500 people.
“I mean, how much can we drink?” they said.
Another concern raised was the social impact the possible extended opening hours of the BWS would have.
A spokesperson from Bermagui Cellars said their shop closes at 6pm most days, 6.30pm on Fridays, and on the day of the Bermagui Seaside Fair close at 2.30pm.
They said if there is a problem customer in the shop, they let the other liquor takeaway outlets in town know.
“The three current liquor licences have community concerns, Woolworths’ wont,” Mr Burke said.
A Woolworths spokesperson gave an update on the progress of the site.
“We have appointed a builder and commenced site works at Bermagui,” they said.
“We hope to open in early to mid 2015.
“The liquor application seeks approval for the new store to open from 9am to 9pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 8pm on Sundays.”
When the Woolworth’s application is on the OLGR noticeboard, it can be found at www.olgr.nsw.gov.au/application_noticeboard.asp > type ‘Bermagui’ into the Town/Suburb search bar, and click on the application to make a submission.