MAJOR LIQUOR LAW OVERHAUL

Moves to make Canberra’s nightlife safer

MAJOR LIQUOR LAW OVERHAUL

By Renee Bogatko, Image Credit – Lukas Gojda/123rf.com

Drunk patrons who loiter around local pubs and clubs after being kicked out could face fines, under the ACT Government’s liquor law reform package.

The package, introduced in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, aims to make Canberra’s nightlife safer.

The Bentspoke Brewing Company in Braddon has welcomed the changes, particularly the one allowing licensees to evict or refuse entry to people who are drunk, violent or disorderly.

“Occasionally u do get intoxicated people come in from other venues and it’s good to be able to allow staff to ask them to leave and remove them from the premises,” Bentspoke owner, Richard Watkins, said.

“There is a penalty now if those removed patrons do loiter in the premises they’ll face fines, that’s a positive step forward.”

Mr Watkins has also welcomed moves to cut red tape.

Applications for licenses are quite a long and exhausting process so having a perpetual license is a good idea, especially for those venues that have got a good track record,” he said.

Image Credit – Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/123rf.com

Some of the other changes include:

- A 25% fee reduction for small venues

- A 5-20% fee increase for bigger businesses, with extra funds raised to go towards an education campaign about responsible drinking

- Amending the definition of ‘intoxicated’ to include intoxication from drugs or a mix of drugs and alcohol

- Give the Commissioner for Fair Trading the power to force a venue to install security cameras

- Extend the Attorney-General’s power to ban alcohol products that appear to be targeted at young people

- Put six extra police officers on night time patrols around Civic

- Give licensees six extended trading authorisations per year, allowing them to trade outside their normal hours for special events

 “These are important and necessary legislative changes that will address the issue of alcohol-related harm in our community and ensure patrons can safely enjoy Canberra’s vibrant nightlife,” Attorney General, Gordon Ramsay, said.

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