Major events are under threat in the NT with no supervising office. The Katherine Cup was almost blocked from its liquor license because the fire authority had no chance to inspect; and police and health were the only other check points for the decision.
In the case of the Katherine Cup, a reasonable protest from NT Fire and Rescue involved new service areas that hadn’t been rubber-stamped fire safe could have prevented the venue getting a liquor license for the event. The license was approved because NT Police, NT Health and the Katherine council had no objections to the operator and the operator had shown previous responsible management.
Tangles of bureaucracy however, breed corruption. In this instance, the lack of formal streamlined process means that stakeholders’ opinions matter, and opinions can be swayed. Essentially, if the licensee had crossed the mayor in some way, the licensee’s operations are under threat.
For effective management of NT tourism events, a national body should oversee the processes involved in holding tourism events in order to streamline these.
When the federal government sees the labyrinth operators are expected to go through in order to carry out basic operations like the annual Katherine Cup, the federal government will see how arbitrary ecurrent processes for event management is in Australia.
The Tourism News will work to encourage the Australian government to streamline tourism-critical processes to optimise tourism operations in Australia – and prevent corruption whilst we’re at it.
Objections from NT Fire and Rescue fail to stop Katherine Cup liquor licence approval
From the Katherine Times, 31st Jul 2021
A liquor licence has been approved for a major racing event despite NT Fire and Rescue citing ‘defects’ in the host venue among its reasons for initially opposing the application.
NT Fire and Rescue Service has changed its attitude to a liquor licence application after it failed in a bid to scupper a licence being granted to the Katherine Cup Carnival, arguing it had identified “defects” at the premises.
The race, scheduled for August 14, has had its application with the NT Liquor Commission green lit.
That’s despite the NTFRS coming out against the idea, arguing it hadn’t had a chance to inspect the premises after recent renovations.
The Department of Health and NT Police raised no objections to the licence, St John Ambulance did not respond and Katherine council came out in favour of alcohol being served at the venue.
In a document published by the NT Liquor Commission, the application noted the event nominee, Paul Mullins, had a “good compliance history” at previous licensed events.
Mr Mullins declined to comment.
“Liquor is proposed via two (2) bars, with the main fixed bar being in the Buntine Pavilion and a temporary bar being erected adjacent to the corporate tents,” the Commission noted.
“Based on its experience running this event in previous years, the applicant estimates that patrons who consume liquor at the event will purchase between 7.5 and 10 standard drinks.”
Despite this history, stakeholder consultation in late May saw the NTFRS come out against the application.
The organisation argued both bars were yet to be assessed for ‘Maximum Patron Numbers’.
“(The new entertainment and function pavilion and showgrounds) when last inspected by NTFRS (November 2020) identified a number of defects that required rectification which haven’t been confirmed as rectified,” the report said.
“(The Buntine Pavilion) recently had major alterations. NTFRS have not inspected after completion of alterations.”
However, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Joshua Fischer said the NTFRS had since changed its attitude towards the event and was supporting it on a “one off” basis.
“On 16 June, NTFRS emailed Licensing NT supporting the liquor licence application with the condition that both the Katherine Turf Club and Buntine Pavilion not be occupied due to occupancy certificate issues,” he said.
“As of 27 July, NTFRS are supporting the use of the Buntine Pavilion as a ‘one off’ due to temporary measures put in place to the satisfaction of the NTFRS for this event until permanent measures are completed.”