Grill misses out for last time, maybe

The final appeal for a Katherine nightclub to be granted a liquor licence has been heard, and lost.

The now failed appeal to the NT Director-General of Licensing appears to have been the last option left for the owners of the Big Ass Grill.

Any fresh appeal would be outside Liquor Licensing  and to the Civil and AdministrativeTribunal.

Owners of the proposed bar-restaurant in Second Street officially appealed the NT Government decision late last year to refuse to grant it a liquor licence.

The government on December 16 refused the application after a long-running battle involving most of last year.

“After reviewing the delegate (of the Director-General) decision, the Director-General must either affirm the decision, vary the decision or set aside the decision and substitute a new decision,” a government spokesman said.

The proposed bar-restaurant in Second Street had applied for a licence to sell liquor between 10am-10pm Monday to Thursday and from 10am- to 2am on Friday and Saturday.

The business sought to provide a dining and take-away food restaurant, live entertainment, amplified music with DJs and streamed video performances, sporting events, festivals and other nightclub entertainment.

Twelve submissions on the licence application were received from local government and non-government organisations as well as from individual members of the public.

The development application had been approved by the Development Consent Authority in May.

The fact that Katherine already has 21 liquor licences helped defeat the application.

In this month’s refusal, Director-General of Licensing Cindy Bravos said she was concerned about noise levels from the establishment.

She said there was “significant potential for the type of venue proposed to cause undue annoyance and disturbance to persons who reside and work in the neighbourhood in which the premises is proposed to be located”.

“In considering the objects of the Act in this instance, including the disparate objectives of minimising alcohol related harm and assisting in the development and regulation of a diversity of licensed premises for the benefit of the community, the significant and on-going alcohol related harm experienced in the Township of Katherine must be given significant weight. In balancing those objects I am not persuaded that the grant of a liquor licence of the type sought by the applicant is in the best interests of the community as a whole,” she said.

Police have told The Katherine Times that police are required, as part of the NT liquor laws, to man about six of Katherine’s outets to monitor takeway sales.

The applicant, Mr Horvat, said in his most recent appeal that two of Katherine’s licences had recently been surrendered, the Riverside Lodge and the Katherine Sports and Recreation Club.

Only 19 off-street car parks were to have been provided for the nightclub-restaurant when there was already limited parking in Second Street, the licensing authority was told.

A number of town organisations opposed the application including the police, the Katherine Region Action Group, the Katherine Women’s Information and Legal Service, the adjacent Catholic church and the Legal Aid Commission.