28 Dec 2009

Fiji NGO speaks out about easier access to alcohol

2:40 pm on 28 December 2009

The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre says the interim regime's decision to liberalise access to alcohol is a bad move for the country.

The Commerce Minister Aiyas Sayed Khaiyum announced in the lead up to Christmas that retail shopping hours would be extended while taverns and nightclubs could stay open longer.

Nightclubs will be able to stay open as late as five a.m. while taverns can trade up to 1 in the morning.

The Crisis Centre's spokesperson Shamima Ali says the Government has acted in a draconian manner in implementing a law change that cannot be good for a country already riven with alcohol related social problems.


An organisation like the Crisis Centre knows exactly what happens around nightclub hours to young people, what happens to families around alcohol, particularly at this time of the year, so for us that is really something that we believe should have discussed in consultation with NGOs and civil society, as well as business people, and that has been just done in a very draconian manner, as in everything in this country.