Adelaide Oval wants to bring back canned drinks for football fans, quietly moving to change its liquor license to allow it to sell beer in aluminum cans.
The police union fears canned drinks may be used as missiles
The Oval says the move to cans will reduce waste
The state government will carefully consider the proposal
But the move is being opposed by the South Australian Police Association, which today raised concerns that the decision is a risk to officers patrolling the venue.
Association President Mark Carroll said the sale of canned beer was previously banned after they had been used as projectiles against police.
The Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority said selling cans would reduce the amount of litter it has to process and be more environmentally friendly.
But Mr Carroll argues it is a policy that will end up with someone being injured.
“It’s a romantic notion isn’t it, but there’s a reason why aluminum cans have been banned from stadia around Australia and it’s because they can be used as dangerous projectiles that can hurt police, the public, players and officials,” he said.
“This is what’s happened in the past and this is why they were banned in the first place.”
Mr Carroll said trials had recently been implemented at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and at Docklands in Melbourne, which resulted in a woman being injured.
“There’s civil action being taken against the stadium in relation to that,” he said.
“I just don’t understand why anyone thinks this is a good idea, it could only have some sort of commercial outcome for the Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority.”
The misbehaving minority
SA Best MP Frank Pangallo supported the police association’s concern and has urged the state government to intervene for safety’s sake.
“It’s a crazy idea; the reason that they were removed is because they pose a danger to people in the stadium,” he said.
“You’re placing at risk spectator safety, players on the field, police officers – it makes no sense.”
He said while most football fans are well behaved, changing the policy would create a risk for the minority of fans that may be looking to cause trouble.
“It can cause quite a bit of damage. Banning these missiles would protect people that go to the game… families can still go there and have some enjoyment,” he said.
Mr Pangallo has also questioned whether being more environmentally friendly was really the main reason behind the move.
“I suspect it would be more than that, it may be that they’re negotiating a new deal with sponsors and it would be advantageous for the sponsor to have branding on their product,” he said.
He said he’ll be writing to SA Premier Peter Malinauskas and the Attorney-General asking them to reconsider the policy.
The Premier today responded, saying the state government would examine the evidence to get the decision right.
“This is about making that we’ve got an environmentally appropriate policy in place, this is about making sure that patron safety is right as well and getting that balance right,” he said.
“That’s what we’ll be working to achieve here.”
The Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority said the policy was still being considered and it would not be appropriate to comment at this time.