CSNA welcomes acknowledgement from Minister Harris on Public Health (Alcohol) Bill

Association believes Senator Keith Swanick’s proposed amendments represent a more suitable compromise

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27 October 2017 | 0

An acknowledgement from Minister Harris that the current proposal on structural separation in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 is flawed and requires amendment, has been welcomed by the Convenience Stores & Newsagents Association (CSNA).

“We have not been privy to the amendment referenced,” said CEO of CSNA, Vincent Jennings, commenting on quotes from the Minister published in the Irish Examiner. “However, what has reportedly been said by Minister Harris (that shops with alcohol in fridge units whose fronts are less than 2 sq metres will be exempt from structural separation),” Jennings added, “will not capture enough small retailers to address the problem that Minister Harris and his colleagues have identified. This will still mean that visual separation is required which is entirely disproportionate and unacceptable to us.”

In a press statement, the association said it finds Senator Keith Swanick’s amendments to be a more suitable compromise. These amendments will still require the sale of alcohol to be separated from the remainder of the premises by means of a physical barrier (such as a turn-style), but will not require complete removal of alcohol from public view.

“We support all other aspects of the Bill and have no appetite to see it further delayed, contingent upon this disproportionate measure being amended,” Jennings added. “We have sent further proposals to Minister Harris on how this might be achieved and are hopeful that he will take these proposals into consideration.”

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