When David Neesham applied to open the bar at the Melville Water Polo Club for a few extra hours a night, he did not expect condemnation from police, the health department and the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth.
Dr Neesham, Melville Water Polo Club manager, said the club had applied for the bar to open for 60 hours a week all year round to increase the club's flexibility.
He said it was "bewildering" that after the Director of Liquor Licensing had partially granted the extended hours in April, some residents - joined by the executive director of Public Health and the McCusker Centre - appealed against the decision. The McCusker Centre suggested "granting the application would compromise the work done by many organisations working to reduce harms from alcohol among young people in Australia".The Liquor Commission dismissed those concerns and granted extended trading hours to the Bicton club, deeming the class of licence "low risk". The commission said it did not perceive any real risk of alcohol-related harm and found police intervention "at best puzzling and at worst contradictory".