Responsible Service newsletter

Minister's message

ID scanner scheme launched

Networked ID scanners have been officially operating in more than 190 venues in Queensland's 15 safe night precincts (SNPs) since 1 July. They are a key component of the Queensland Government's strategy to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence and are designed to ensure people with banning orders are detected and prevented entry into venues operating ID scanners.

Keeping known trouble makers out of our pubs and clubs helps ensure Queenslanders and tourists can have a safe and fun night out.

The ID scanners are already proving their worth by alerting security staff to a number of banned patrons attempting to enter venues and allowing police to investigate and take action for the banning order contraventions.

I am grateful to licensees and patrons for embracing the ID scanner scheme and helping to keep our venues safe places.

If this system prevented only one family from dealing with the aftermath of a senseless violent tragedy, it is already worth it.

Responsible Gambling Awareness Week 2017

Responsible Gambling Awareness Week (RGAW) was held in Queensland from 24-30 July with the theme 'Is your gambling getting out of hand? Think of your family'.

RGAW is held annually and encourages gamblers to stay within their limits and highlights the support available to people who feel gambling may have become a problem.

I was encouraged to hear of those gaming licensees who got involved and supported this year's event and I thank you for your efforts.

As a gambling provider, it's in your best interest to be familiar with the Queensland responsible gambling code of practice which provides a whole-of-industry approach to the promotion and provision of responsible gambling practices.

You want your patrons to see and experience your venue as one that provides a safe, socially responsible and supportive gambling environment.

You also want your patrons to feel like they are able to approach staff at your venue for assistance with any gambling problems.

Download the responsible gambling resource manuals designed specifically to assist clubs and hotels to provide a step-by-step guide in implementing this code of practice.

Hosted by Relationships Australia at the Newnham Hotel, Mt Gravatt, this year's RGAW official launch was attended by industry stakeholders, Gambling Help counsellors, researchers, community members and government representatives.

The launch also provided an opportunity for those present to preview the new Gambling Help Queensland website, which is to be launched soon. Keep an eye out for the website which features information on the signs of problem gambling, facts and myths, feature stories, plus an information section especially for industry.

Gambling Help services across Queensland also organised a number of community events and activities in their local area.

I commend the efforts of gambling providers and the work of Queensland Gambling Help services, as we join together to reduce the negative impact gambling may have on Queenslanders now and into the future.

Funding for community organisations

Congratulations to the 604 community groups who share in $12.4 million of funding in round 92 of the Gambling Community Benefit Fund (GCBF).

The Queensland Government is proud to support dedicated community groups by ensuring they have the funds needed for projects that would have otherwise been out of reach.

Grants in round 93 are currently being considered, while applications for round 94 will close on 31 August 2017. In the 2016-17 financial year, more than 900 community groups across Queensland shared in close to $40 million in grants.

The successful recipients included sports clubs, schools, emergency services organisations, charity groups, music societies, and health and support centres.

The funds were used to purchase much-needed equipment and upgrade facilities which has helped ensure these community groups are able to continue providing valuable services to their local communities.

2016-17 also saw the launch of the new GCBF user-friendly online portal which has made the application for funding even easier.

The Hon Yvette D'Ath MP
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills

Executive Director's message

ID scanners

It's been a month since networked ID scanners were rolled out in 15 safe night precincts (SNPs) across Queensland.

Licensees and venue staff have made substantial efforts to comply with scanning requirements. We appreciate those efforts and thank you for working with us to implement the government's response to tackling alcohol-fuelled violence in entertainment precincts.

Already we have seen the scanners working, with numerous banned individuals kept out of venues.

A recent glassing incident at a regulated premises within an SNP operating ID scanners has highlighted how ID scanners can greatly assist the Queensland Police Service and licensed venues to identify persons of interest during an investigation.

In this incident, a person had scanned into a venue where they allegedly assaulted another person whilst on the premises. On police attendance at the licensed premises, information was obtained regarding the alleged offender that assisted in the police investigation.

Despite the terrible circumstances, this example demonstrates the effectiveness of ID scanners and how ID scanners can assist outside of the primary function of identifying banned person.

I encourage all licensees required to operate an ID scanner to continue to familiarise yourself and your staff with ID scanning requirements by visiting ID scanning.

You can ensure your staff are well trained and familiar with the scanning equipment to help speed up scanning operations and assist with scanning accuracy.

Extended hours permits and ID scanning

I would like to clarify the need to scan IDs in safe night precincts (SNPs) in relation to extended hours permits. Licensees whose premises are not regulated premises for ID scanning are not required to scan IDs, unless they are specifically conditioned to do so, just because they have an extended hours permit to sell liquor after midnight on a particular night.

However, licensees whose premises are regulated premises for ID scanning are required to scan patrons entering during all regulated hours. As a standard, regulated hours are the hours between 10pm and 5am that a premises is open for business, whether under the authority of a licence, extended hours permit or extended trading hours approval.

Therefore, if a licensee of regulated premises is permanently authorised to sell liquor until 2am on a Friday and Saturday night only receives an extended hours permit to 3am for a particular Wednesday night, the licensee is required to scan IDs from 10pm until 3am on that Wednesday night. Also, if that licensee receives an extended hours permit to sell liquor until 5am on a Friday or Saturday night, where they are normally only authorised to sell liquor until 3am, they must continue to scan patrons entering the premises through until 5am.

Normal ID scanning exemptions also apply for extended hours permits, for example, where a person is attending a premises during an extended hours permit solely for the purpose of attending a function, they are not required to be scanned.

Annual liquor licence fees

If you haven't paid your fees by now, your liquor licence is suspended. An article on overdue licence fees in this edition explains this in more detail. It's important you pay your fees immediately, if you haven’t already done so.

Mike Sarquis
Executive Director
Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation

Licence fees are now overdue

Late payment of your annual liquor licence fee can have serious consequences for your business, including licence suspension and hefty fines.

If you haven't paid your liquor licence fees, they are now overdue and your liquor licence has been suspended. If you hold a gaming machine licence, it has also been suspended.

You are unable to sell or supply liquor while your licence is suspended.

To avoid a compliance officer knocking on your door and you potentially copping a hefty fine, login to the OLGR Client Portal immediately to easily pay your fees. Of course, you can also pay via BPay, or other payment methods, using the payment details shown on your licence fee assessment notice.

You have 28 days from the date of suspension to pay your licence fees. This means, if the fees are not paid by 12 midnight on 29 August your licence will automatically be cancelled, creating potentially serious consequences for your business.

Read penalties for late payment of liquor licence fees for more information. If you need to contact an OLGR licensing officer, email olgrlicensing@justice.qld.gov.au.

Expired driver licences and ID scanning

Queensland driver licence holders who have renewed their licence but are still awaiting the arrival of their new licence in the post can present their expired driver licence for scanning, however, the licence must be presented along with a Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) Driver Licence Renewal Receipt.

Licensees can accept the expired driver licence and Driver Licence Renewal Receipt for up to 21 days after the date of the receipt.

OLGR has been in contact with DTMR about expired driver licences to confirm its driver licence renewal process.

When a Queensland driver licence holder renews an expired licence, generally, they are not required to surrender their expired licence to the DTMR Customer Service Officer. Instead, they are directed to cut up their superseded licence on receipt of their new driver licence, which usually arrives in the mail approximately 2 weeks later.

There are some cases where the Queensland driver licence holder is required to surrender their licence when renewing. In these instances, the licence holder must use another form of ID for scanning, for example a passport or a proof of age card.

Updated signs and on-the-spot fines

We want you to comply with legislation to avoid the expense and inconvenience of receiving a fine or penalty. Under the Liquor Act 1992 and the Wine Industry Act 1994, licensees, their staff and patrons can be issued on-the-spot fines (also called penalty infringement notices, or PINs) for non-compliance offences. Some offences include engaging in unacceptable practices/promotions, supplying alcohol to someone that is unduly intoxicated or disorderly, allowing non-exempt minors on your premises, failing to comply with licence conditions and trying to enter a licensed venue using false ID.

We provide a full list at On-the-spot fines online to help you and your staff understand the reasons for, and amounts of, on-the-spot fines. It also outlines penalties for the irresponsible service of alcohol, explains how to pay an infringement notice and what to do if you cannot pay by the due date. Fines are calculated by penalty units from 1 July 2017, the current value of each penalty unit is $126.15.

To advise your staff and patrons what is acceptable and expected, you can download, print and display free in-venue signage for liquor licensees at your licensed venue.

Bundaberg SNP inter-venue radio network a success

In late 2016, the Safe Night Bundaberg CBD Precinct Inc. set up an inter-venue, two-way radio network within the precinct with grant funding of $17,127.

Since its introduction the network has received positive feedback from users and resulted in faster response times by police.

The board adopted the inter-venue radios which "are seen as an important tool in assisting with the reduction of alcohol-fuelled violence, antisocial behaviour, improvement of inter-venue communication and proactive policing." – Susan Rewald – Secretary of the Safe Night Bundaberg CBD Precinct Inc. local board.

All 10 late-night licensed venues in the precinct have a radio, as well as the taxi marshal and police station. Communication between venues and with on-duty police is fast and efficient with all parties able to listen to dialogue along the one radio channel.

Licensees within the Bundaberg SNP are actively involved in finding ways to improve the safety of late night patrons and venue staff. Their commitment to the precinct is clear as many of the licensees who are not required to join the board have willingly done so.

Since the board's establishment, it has received over $210,600 worth of funding, including:

  • seed funding for insurance, OFT annual association returns, auditing and administrative tasks, and
  • operational funding for an educational campaign, taxi rank security, CCTV upgrades, 'One Punch Can Kill' campaign, 2-day course aimed at disadvantaged youth focusing on RSA training and the inter-venue radio network.

SNP Bundaberg's successful inter-venue radio network, installed with an operational funding grant in late 2016.