Liqour Accord rules face biggest test

BARRY O'Farrell is talking tough on booze-fuelled violence, announcing a raft of laws, but already Tamworth is leading the way with even stricter measures.

The new Liqour Accord rules, introduced in December, face their biggest test this weekend as tens of thousands of country music revellers converge on Tamworth.

The state's police association said the country music capital had become a regional leader because of its proactive step to drive down anti-social behaviour and alcohol-fuelled assaults.

"The preventative measures in Tamworth, along with the changing legislation announced, means the people that commit these horrendous offences won't be out on the streets," NSW Police Association president Scott Webber said.

The Liquor Accord said there had been little grumblings about the new town-wide alcohol rules.

Mr Webber saw first-hand the strict measures enforced on patrons in Tamworth after wrapping up a visit this week.

"Tamworth is being proactive, this is where you see Tamworth being a leader in the regional areas," he said. "It's stopping violence before it starts."

The Police Association believes the local rules, coupled with strict mandatory sentencing for one-punch attacks could turn the tide of violence.

"I think what we'll see is it will change behaviours, but it will take a period of time," he said. "We've seen people out on bail or on parole commit offences and they've been let go, but now if people commit these offences, they will go to jail."

Much of Mr O'Farrell's new tough stance centres on measures for a Sydney CBD precinct.

Tamworth already has earlier lock outs and a ban on shots, but some local bottle shops will be forced to close their doors earlier after a 10pm statewide closure was announced this week.

Tamworth Liquor Accord chairman Roger Rumble said it would have minimal impacts on the town.

"A couple of bottle shops open past 10pm. On a busy night my bottle shop opens until 11pm," he said. "Now everyone will be under the same umbrella but I don't think for Tamworth it will make too much of a difference."

But Mr Rumble believes the problem stems a lot further.

"The proliferation of bottle shops in the last 10 years is a more of a concern than closing times," he said. "The government has been handing out licenses everywhere ... there is nearly a bottle shop on every corner."

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