Responsible Service newsletter

Minister's message

In early March, Queensland Parliament passed legislation that changes the state’s liquor laws, including restricting extended trading hour permits, introducing ID scanner requirements and enforcing banning orders for convicted drug offenders.

These changes follow an interim evaluation report into the Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Act 2016.

The 1am lockout provisions have been formally removed, and the number of extended trading hour permits for licensed venues has been reduced from 12 to 6.

The decision to make these changes demonstrates the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to an evidence-based approach to tackling alcohol-fuelled violence.

Based on the evidence before us, we see these measures as the best option to reduce the toll of alcohol-fuelled violence in a quantifiable and effective manner.

The laws also allow a sentencing court to impose a banning order on offenders convicted of trafficking dangerous drugs or supplying dangerous drugs, where the offence was committed in, or in a public place near, a licenced premises.

Some Queensland licensees will now be working towards installing and operating networked ID scanners through an approved operator.

From July 1 this year, it will be mandatory for non-exempt licensees operating inside one of our 15 safe night precincts, who have permanent approval to trade past midnight, to scan all patron’s identification from 10pm onwards.

We should also not forget the importance of our patrons’ privacy. All licensees who operate an ID scanner have an obligation to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles. These are set out in the Privacy Act 1988 and relate to the collection, use, disclosure are storage of personal information.

Please take the time to read Guideline 64: Privacy obligations for establishing and operating identification systems, which details your obligations for privacy protection.

ID scanning will complement banning order enforcement - whether this is a court-imposed, Queensland Police Service (QPS)-imposed or venue-imposed ban. Being notified of those who have a banning order imposed on them will ensure patrons who demonstrate violent and inappropriate behaviour will not be allowed into our licensed venues and key entertainment areas.

We believe this new system will ensure patron safety and minimise alcohol-related harm and the devastating effect it has on our communities.

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

Executive Director's message

Update on ID scanners

As of 1 July 2017, non-exempt licensees approved to permanently trade past midnight in safe night precincts will be required to operate networked ID scanners.

Although there are some limited exceptions, patrons who enter a licensed venue with a networked ID scanner from 10pm, will be required to have their ID scanned.

Last month, the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) updated all relevant licensees with the latest on ID scanners, including information on approved operators and privacy laws.

If you have not done so already, I would encourage any licensee required to install an ID scanner to begin the process of entering into an arrangement with an approved operator.

An approved operator is an independent provider of networked ID scanning systems, not a licensee or staff member who scans a person’s ID at the venue. Currently there are 2 approved operators in Queensland who have been approved by the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming: QikID Pty Ltd and Scantek Solutions Pty Ltd.

These approved operators will receive banning data and transmit this information to each of the licenced venues ID scanners.

The equipment provided by these companies will be evaluated and approved by OLGR in the near future. In the meantime, please note you may require a data point connection at the entrance to your venue to operate an ID scanner.

If your licensed venue is not required to install ID scanners, you may still choose to opt-in to the scheme by seeking the approval of the Commissioner. If approved, you will have a condition on your licence that declares the venue to be a regulated venue. On approval, you too must use only approved networkable ID scanning equipment and contract an approved operator of ID scanning systems.

For more information on ID scanners, specifically approved operators, please go to Use of ID scanners at licensed venues. We will be updating this information as it becomes available and also post regular updates on our social media pages.

Changes to one-off extended trading hours permits

Earlier, the Attorney-General spoke about the amendment Bill which recently became law.

The legislation reduces the number of one-off extended trading hour permits that licensees can apply for in a year to six (from 12). The criteria upon which an application can be considered has also been tightened.

Australasian Hospitality and Gaming Expo, 29-30 March 2017

The Australasian Hospitality and Gaming Expo 2017 is fast approaching and will be held on 29-30 March at the Brisbane Convention Centre.

As I mentioned last month, the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) will be present, this year at stand 91. Please come along and meet our experienced staff, who can answer questions you may have on the regulation of liquor and gaming in Queensland.

You may also be interested to attend the soap box lectures on day 2 (30 March) to hear the presentations of 2 senior OLGR officers. They will speak on the benefits and opportunities the QCOM 3 gaming machine protocol will bring in 2018, plus the latest initiatives being undertaken by OLGR, in consultation with industry, to improve RSA practices.

A question time following the lectures will give you an opportunity to find out more information.

Mike Sarquis
Executive Director
Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation

Online resources to help you get ready for ID scanners

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) has resources online to help licensees who will be required to have a networked ID scanner installed and operating by 1 July 2017.

Below are links to web pages and downloadable resources to help you understand the details of the new law and get started on setting up your system.

Use of ID scanners at licensed venues

Guideline 64: Privacy obligations for establishing and operating identification scanning systems

This guideline applies to:

  • regulated venues within a safe night precinct (SNP)
  • other licensed venues, if the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming considers it appropriate to declare the venue as regulated venue
  • and
  • approved operators of ID scanning systems under section 173EQ of the Liquor Act 1992.

ID scanning collection notice

Use this notice if you are required under the Liquor Act 1992 to scan photo identification during specified times and prior to letting patrons into your venue.

ID scanner privacy policy

This policy describes how you will meet your obligations under the privacy laws and sets out your commitment to protect the personal information collected as part of the ID scanner process.

Venue privacy plan for ID scanners

This document outlines patron rights in relation to ID scanning and how staff of licensed venues can respect these rights. This should be used in conjunction with the licensed venue's ID scanner privacy policy.

For further information please contact OLGR Senior Regulatory Analyst David Casey at david.casey@justice.qld.gov.au.

Reminder about trading hours for Anzac Day and Easter

Be sure to familiarise yourself with the guidelines for trading over next month’s Easter holidays and Anzac Day.

Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) compliance officers will be out and about during these times and they wish to remind you that penalties can apply to licensees who breach the Liquor Act 1992.

Over Easter, alcohol service and gaming operations must cease at midnight on the eve of Good Friday (April 13). On Good Friday (April 14), you can sell or supply alcohol from 10am to midnight in conjunction with a meal - and patrons can purchase alcohol for up to 1 hour before their meal, while eating and for 1 hour after finishing their meal. Selling takeaway alcohol or providing gaming services is not permitted on Good Friday.

On Easter Sunday and Monday (April 16-17), you can trade at your usual approved trading hours.

Easter time can also mean increased patronage at some licensed venues. Please remind your staff to be vigilant with checking ID.

From midnight on the eve of Anzac Day (April 24), you are not permitted to sell or supply alcohol, or provide gaming services. On Anzac Day (April 25), you can only sell or supply alcohol if it is with a meal and only from 10am to 1pm. After 1pm, venues can resume their normal trading hours and sell takeaway alcohol.

No gaming is permitted between midnight and 1pm on Anzac Day.

If you have entered into a written agreement with an RSL or services club to sell alcohol at your licensed venue during an Anzac Day event held on behalf of their club (such as a dawn service), you will need to apply for an extended trading hours permit at least 21 days prior. Applications received by OLGR less than 21 days prior may not be processed.

For more detailed information go to Trading hours for liquor licensees.

Second Sunnybank karaoke bar in 2017 to be convicted and fined under the Liquor Act 1992

In early February, a karaoke bar in Sunnybank became the second such venue in 2017 to be convicted and fined for multiple offences under the Liquor Act 1992.

The licensee company was fined $75,000 and a conviction recorded, for 25 charges under the Liquor Act between March and September 2016. The venue’s manager was also fined $9,000, with a conviction recorded, for 6 breaches of the Liquor Act during the same period.

Compliance officers from the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) were alerted to problems at the venue during an Easter trading compliance operation in 2016.

On the eve of Good Friday, the officers reminded the manager of trading restrictions for Good Friday. When they returned on Good Friday morning the OLGR officers observed liquor being sold and consumed, in breach of the Liquor Act.

OLGR investigators returned in September 2016 to execute a search warrant while investigating trading restriction breaches on Good Friday and Anzac Day. Their search revealed significant non-compliance, with a total of 284 Liquor Act breaches identified.

The breaches included:

  • failing to ensure that an approved manager was present after midnight
  • failing to check CCTV equipment
  • lack of fire extinguisher maintenance or certification
  • failing to comply with licence conditions and the Brisbane City Council area additional compliance requirements
  • serving liquor to patrons showing clear signs of undue intoxication, often outside the venue’s authorised trading hours
  • and
  • serving rapid intoxication drinks after midnight.

OLGR investigators warned the licensee multiple times about the serious consequences of the venue’s non-compliance with the Liquor Act. The directors of the licensee company refused to cooperate with OLGR during the course of the investigation, ignored legislative notices, failed to provide accounting records required under the Act and displayed no remorse for the identified breaches.

Ongoing investigations may result in prosecution or disciplinary action being taken against other licensees.

To address this trend of non-compliance, over coming months OLGR will be progressing a program of compliance monitoring activities focusing on these types of venues.

Do we have your current email address?

We ask you to check the contact details that are attached to your licence in the OLGR Client Portal.

It’s very important that we have the correct email addresses for all licensees - and licensed sites - so that we can communicate with you more effectively through direct email, and less so by regular mail.

Please go to the OLGR Client Portal now to check and/or update your details so that you don’t miss out on important information.