An application for an IGA-branded liquor outlet in Anna Bay has been refused by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.
Port Stephens Council passed the development application earlier this year, despite intense opposition from local police.
In a submission to Port Stephens Council, Senior Constable Nick Kaluski, on behalf of Port Stephens LAC, indicated that local police did not support the DA as it would have a “major impact” on policing resources.
The submission described Anna Bay as a “hotspot” for alcohol-related crime.
Port Stephens Council Minutes relating to the application noted police opposition, but determined that the liquor outlet was “unlikely to have a negative social impact” and also that the premises would add “to the character of the village centre” as it would be open during the day.
Local small business owner and resident Jeff Lee said the refusal was “a wonderful result for the area, since there is already an anti-social problem with regards to alcohol consumption and abuse” in Anna Bay.
“As if we need a third bottle shop,” Mr Lee told News Of The Area. “We don’t need the extra competition and the decision made by the Liquor and Gaming Authority is the right one for Anna Bay.”
“I don’t believe that Port Stephens Council or the applicant properly advised the greater community in time for submissions to be made,” Mr Lee said.
“Former Boat Harbour resident and Anna Bay hospitality employee Debbie Connell said it was “a great outcome” for the local community.
Jenny Waters, owner of Port Stephens Complete Real Estate, Anna Bay, said it was a significant result.
“There is already enough crime and there are two bottle shops in the local vicinity,” she said.
But Director of Anna Bay IGA John Mannering said he was “disappointed” with the outcome and that he was “waiting on legal advice” in relation to an appeal.
Mr Mannering contributes substantial funds to local schools and organisations including Anna Bay Public School, the Anna Bay Scouts, Birubi Surf Club and other local causes.
“We provide work experience and regular work to many young people including those with special needs,” Mr Mannering said.
By Jo FINN