Bar worker receives six month ban for taking illicit drugs on shift

13 October, 2015 by
Aoife Boothroyd

A former bar supervisor of the Imperial Hotel Erskineville has been banned from working in any licensed venue in NSW for six months after allegedly consuming and supplying illicit drugs while on shift.

The ban (which involves the suspension of the worker’s Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate) was enforced by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority following a successful application by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR).

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On 14 June 2015, OLGR inspectors observed the bar supervisor remove two ecstasy capsules from a bottle. The supervisor gave one to the bar attendant before both men consumed the drugs at the bar in front of patrons. After consuming the capsules, the bar attendant continued to serve alcohol to patrons. The supervisor also poured shots of alcohol which he and the bar attendant consumed in front of patrons.

“It is totally unacceptable for licensed venue staff to consume illicit drugs or alcohol while on the job," said OLGR director of compliance and enforcement Anthony Keon.

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"Not only is it illegal but a combination of drugs and high strength alcohol shots can be dangerous and their effects would impair a person's ability to carry out their responsible service of alcohol duties safely, competently and as required by the legislation."

Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority chief executive Micheil Brodie said that the suspension of the bar supervisor’s RSA for a six month period is an “appropriate and reasonable response”.

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"The Authority has determined that a suspension of the bar attendant's competency card for seven days is appropriate after considering his acknowledgment of responsibility and remorse and his new employment in a more responsible environment."

The six month suspension will take place from Thursday 1 October until 31 March 2016.

In addition to the former bar supervisor, a former bar attendant at the venue also had his RSA certification suspended by the Authority for a seven day period.

Persons with a suspended RSA competency card are not permitted to work in any capacity as an employee in any licensed premises in NSW. Failure to comply can result in penalties up to $5,500.

Former owner of the Imperial Hotel, Shadd Danesi had run the venue successfully for 13 years, but leased the property to Murat Kilic of Spice International in early 2015 who turned the underground space of the venue into a nightclub called Spice Cellar ERSKNVL.

Under Kilic’s tenacy, the venue was ordered to shutdown in June for a 72 hour period following an approved application to the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority after a range of serious breaches detected at the venue in June during a targeted operation.

The venue was ordered to shut for a second time from 7pm on Friday 24 July until 7pm on Monday 27 July.

The Imperial Hotel has since been sold, attracting a $6.5 million price tag. The venue’s new owners, publicans Scott Leash (owner of the Rose of Erskinville) and Fraser Short (operator of The Morrison and the Watsons Bay Hotel) have plans to transform the pub by introducing a high-end dining offering.