Responsible Service newsletter

Minister's message

In December 2016, the Serious and Organised Crime Legislation Amendment Act 2016 was assented to and many of the laws contained in the Act, including minor amendments to the Liquor Act 1992, are now in force.

The Serious and Organised Crime Legislation Amendment Act implements a new organised crime regime across Queensland to tackle serious and organised crime in all its forms and in turn provide a safer environment for the Queensland community.

Licensees across Queensland should be aware of the following laws:

The 'wearing of colours' within a licensed venue

It remains illegal for a person to enter a licensed venue if they are wearing or carrying prohibited items associated with an identified organisation, such as club patches or logos. Under the laws, an authorised person, including a licensee or its employees and police officers, may use necessary and reasonable force to remove a prohibited person if they fail to leave when required.

The laws also state that a licensee or staff member can be fined up to $12,190 for knowingly allowing a person wearing or carrying prohibited items to enter or remain on the premises. However, the licensee or staff member will not be fined if they have taken reasonable steps to refuse, exclude or remove a person wearing colours, or if they reasonably believe it was not safe or practical for them to refuse, exclude or remove the person wearing the colours.

If at any time licensees or staff feel their safety has been compromised by a patron they are encouraged to call the Queensland Police Service immediately. It should also be noted that the new laws extend the ban on wearing 'colours' to now also include public places. This is intended to create a safer environment for patrons, staff and the wider community.

Probity process for obtaining a liquor licence

The probity process for individuals or businesses to obtain a liquor licence remains as extensive but, under the new laws, the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming cannot just refuse or cancel a licence, permit or approval because an organisation or entity are 'alleged' to be a criminal organisation or a participant of a criminal organisation.

Instead, probity tests have been strengthened to ensure the new serious and organised crime offences and control orders are relevant considerations in the assessment of a person's suitability for a licence, permit or other authority under the Liquor Act.

The new laws also restore appeal and review rights that were restricted by the former government's legislation, and enhance procedural fairness in licensing decisions by re-establishing the right of people adversely affected by a licensing decision to be given reasons for the decision.

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

Executive Director's message

Welcome to the New Year and the first edition of Responsible Service newsletter for 2017. Here at the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) we are gearing up for another busy year ahead and look forward to continuing our partnership with you.

The beginning of a new year is the time I would like to encourage you and your staff to make 2017 the year for improved Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA).

In 2016, the OLGR continued to provide quality educational and training tools for industry to improve their business and nights out for their patrons. These included 2 Behind the Bar RSA training videos, which depict real-life scenarios of unduly intoxicated patrons attempting to be served alcohol and practical dos and don’ts of refusal of service.

We have already received fantastic feedback on these videos from many stakeholders in the hotel and club industries, as well as training providers. If you haven't already, make the start of 2017 the time to show these to your staff, either as part of group refresher training or during an induction. The videos offer moments to pause and spark a group discussion, or you can use the discussion points available online.

You can also offer the Follow the Law RSA refresher courses to staff. This involves five short learning modules with corresponding quizzes on topics such as minors, checking identification, unduly intoxicated patrons, disorderly conduct and promotions and practices.

Additionally, the Follow the Law suite includes refresher courses on the Responsible Service of Gambling (RSG) which compliments existing formal RSG training or certification. Also the Complying with liquor and gaming legislation refresher courses are helpful for licensees and managers as they cover CCTV, crowd controller and noise requirements, as well as what to expect during a compliance inspection.

All of these training tools are available online at Liquor and gaming training.

Mike Sarquis
Executive Director
Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation

OLGR annual statistical report for 2015–16 published online

The latest Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) annual statistical report is now available online.

The report gives you an overview of OLGR's liquor, gaming, compliance and harm minimisation activities for the financial year 2015–16.

Where relevant, comparative data from previous years is shown to highlight areas of industry trends, growth and change. Unless otherwise mentioned, the data contained in the report is current as of 30 June 2016.

The report is set out in an easy to read format with plenty of infographics highlighting key information. It also contains case studies of some of OLGR's activities, its history and financial expenditure for 2015–16.

To view this and other reports go to Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation on the Justice website.

Restauranteur pays heavily for unlawful liquor sales

A Brisbane restaurant owner recently paid a heavy price after supplying liquor from their premises without the authority of a licence or permit.

In December 2016, the owner of a restaurant in Sunnybank was fined $10,000 plus court costs, after they were found guilty of selling and carrying liquor for sale without the authority of a licence or permit. The offences took place over several weeks from 21 June to 27 August 2016.

Officers from the OLGR Investigations Unit were alerted to the matter in August 2016, when the venue's annual licence fee remained unpaid by the due date of 31 July.

Investigations revealed the authorised licensee had sold the restaurant, but the incoming owner failed to lodge the required paperwork needed to obtain a liquor licence.

The penalty in this case reflects the seriousness of the offences. It sends a clear message to purchasers of new restaurants (or other venues) that they must obtain the relevant licensing approvals before continuing to supply liquor.

Keep up to date with OLGR in 2017

Start out 2017 by keeping up to date with the latest news and information about the regulation of liquor and gaming in Queensland.

Responsible Service—Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation's (OLGR) monthly newsletter—contains all the information you need on changes to legislation, tips on how to be compliant and an insight into the great work some licensed venues are doing across Queensland. If you are not already subscribed, visit Subscribe to the Responsible Service newsletter.

OLGR also has an active social media presence where you can pick up news and topical information quickly and easily. Make sure you like us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Help us to keep you informed by keeping your contact details up to date through the OLGR Client Portal. It only takes four easy steps:

  1. Visit www.business.qld.gov.au/liquor-gaming
  2. Select OLGR Client Portal, located under the 'Do it online' options.
  3. Log in and select the licensee name or the premises name.
  4. Select postal or email address and make the necessary changes (make sure you update your changes to the licensee and premises unless you want them to be different).

Changes will be effective immediately.

If you haven't activated your client portal account, your activation code is located in your 2016 annual fee letter or you can call the OLGR customer service team on (07) 3224 7131.

Last reviewed
January 11, 2017