Hutt South MP Chris Bishop has presented a petition to Parliament today in support of his Member’s Bill to allow restaurants that hold on-licences to sell alcohol, to also hold off-licences under the same roof.

Mr Bishop, who was accompanied by Antonio Cacace, owner of top Italian restaurant La Bella Italia in Petone and former owner of Bel Mondo International food market, says around 3,000 people have signed the petition.

“The Sale and Supply of Liquor Act currently prohibits ‘shops within shops’, which means that restaurants that are also speciality food stores have great difficulty in selling alcohol through an off-licence under the same roof and at the same time,” he says.

“Bel Mondo closed recently after licencing authorities asked Antonio to erect a wall separating the dining area from the food store and operate two separate companies in order to sell wine to take away.

“At La Bella Italia in Petone, customers who wish to purchase a bottle of wine after trying it in the restaurant are required to buy the wine online on an iPad in the corner of the store and pick it up from a separate entrance out the back.

“There are other examples I know of around the country. These ridiculous situations can be fixed by my proposed simple amendment to the Sale of Supply of Liquor Act.

“The fact that 3,000 people have signed a petition located only in one restaurant (La Bella) indicates the strong public support for such a move. I hope this common-sense amendment will receive broad support across the Parliament.”

The petition will now be considered by the Justice Committee.

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