Amid a national backlash against hotel lockouts, Kalgoorlie’s most prominent pub has applied to have a ban on patrons entering its premises after midnight done away with.
Proprietors of the pictured Exchange Hotel have asked the state liquor watchdog to remove a midnight lockout that has applied since October 2010 at the venue, on Kalgoorlie’s historic Hannan Street.
Hannan Street has long had a problem with alcohol-fueled violence.
However, in an application to the state liquor licensing director, hotel owner Filigree Holdings Pty Ltd argues the “liquor and hospitality landscape” has changed markedly since October 2010 when the midnight lockout was imposed.
Since then, the nearby De Bernales night club has morphed into a restaurant, Sylvester’s nightclub has closed down, and The Exchange’s Paddy’s Ale House set up as an Irish-themed night club is now a bar-cum-restaurant.
Filigree says there is now only one nightclub operating in the area – the Gold Bar.
If the licensing director does decide to overturn the lockout at The Exchange, patrons will be allowed to enter until 1am on Mondays and Tuesdays, and 2am Wednesdays to Saturdays. The hotel closes at midnight on Sundays.
In 2013, not long after the pub was bought by Leederville-registered Filigree Holdings owned by Kalgoorlie-based accountant Lawson Douglas and property developer David Allan, Filigree successfully applied to have the lockout relaxed for a four-day Diggers and Dealers Conference.
That application also sought approval for adult entertainment, with Filigree arguing The Exchange’s skimpy barmaids were a world famous tourist attraction. The current application argues there were no “incidents” during the usual lockout period.
Lockouts have been implemented at night spots across Western Australia, and are now being trialled or implemented in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.
In the eastern states, lockouts are becoming increasingly unpopular with musicians and venue owners who argue they will turn the likes of Kings Cross and Surfers Paradise into big old Dullsvilles.
Photo: ‘Jarrah Tree’, wikimedia commons under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence.