Overview of the Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Act 2016 for licensees
On Wednesday 17 February 2016, the Queensland Government passed the Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 (the Bill). On Friday 4 March 2016, the Bill received Royal Assent by the Governor and became the Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Act 2016. This results in a number of changes to the Liquor Act 1992 that liquor licensees need to be aware of.
Changes to liquor legislation that have commenced
As a result of assent on 4 March 2016, the following Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Amendment Legislation Act 2016 items are now in effect:
- New extended trading hours approvals for takeaway alcohol after 10pm are prohibited.
- The definition of liquor excludes certain substances (food additives) from the operation of the Liquor Act 1992.
- Acceptable evidence of age for the purposes of purchasing liquor has been clarified.
- Community clubs are allowed to sell takeaway liquor to signed-in visitors or guests of members or reciprocal members.
- Providers of floral arrangements and gift baskets are exempt from needing a risk-assessed management plan (RAMP).
- Duplication across the incident register and crowd controller register is removed for Brisbane licensees.
- The Commissioner must notify an approved manager's employer when the approved manager's approval has been suspended or cancelled.
- An investigator can require a person to produce documents that are relevant to the administration or enforcement of the Liquor Act.
- The results of a breath test analysis are admissible as evidence in prosecutions against a licensee (as supplementary evidence) where there is other evidence to suggest a licensee may have committed an offence.
- The regulation-making power in relation to RAMPs is reinstated
Changes to liquor legislation that are yet to commence
The following amendments will commence on 1 July 2016, on 1 February 2017, or by proclamation:
- reduced extended trading hours, including changes for safe night precinct licensees
- lock out
- changes to extended trading hour applications
- ban on supply of high-alcohol content drinks after 12 midnight
- provision of gaming after service of alcohol ceases
- using a carpark as a licensed area
- red tape reduction and other initiatives.
Please read on for more information.
Changes to trading hours
Ordinary and extended trading hours for liquor and gaming will change in the coming months. This applies to existing licences and permits, as well as new applications.
Reduced trading hours for licensed venues outside of safe night precincts
From 1 July 2016, the service of alcohol in licensed premises in Queensland will cease at 2am. Venues can remain open beyond 2am to serve food, non-alcoholic beverages and to provide entertainment. A grace period will continue to apply and patrons will have 30 minutes after last drinks are called to finish their alcoholic beverages.
Therefore, if you currently have approved extended trading hours (for example, to sell alcohol until 5am) these trading hours will automatically be reduced to 2am, from 1 July 2016.
If your approved trading hours end before 2am, your current trading hours still apply. For example, if you are currently approved to trade until 1am the changes do not mean your trading hours are now extended to 2am. Your trading hours will remain as ceasing at 1am.
Reduced trading hours for licensed venues within safe night precincts
From 1 July 2016, late-trading venues located in safe night precincts will be able to sell alcohol until 3am. Venues in a safe night precinct can remain open beyond 3am to serve food, non-alcoholic beverages and to provide entertainment. Patrons will have 30-minute grace period after last drinks are called to finish their alcoholic beverages.
If you currently have approved extended trading hours (for example, to sell alcohol until 5am), from 1 July 2016, these trading hours will automatically be reduced to 3am.
Safe night precinct boards will have until 1 February 2017 to be officially prescribed as a ‘3am safe night precinct’. If a safe night precinct has not been prescribed as a 3am safe night precinct by 1 February 2017, licensees within the precinct will have their trading hours automatically reduced to 2am.
If your current extended trading hours finish before 3am, your current trading hours still apply. For example, if you are currently approved to trade until 1am (in a safe night precinct), the changes do not mean your trading hours are now extended to 3am - your trading hours will remain as ending at 1am.
The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) will provide further information about the application process to be officially prescribed as a ‘3am safe night precinct’ directly to safe night precinct boards in the near future.
Exemptions to reduced trading hours
Reduced trading hours do not apply to:
- casinos, licensed premises in airports and industrial canteens
- room service to accommodation areas which form part of a licensed area
- gaming machines and wagering for existing licences - from 1 July 2016, venues can continue to offer gaming in accordance with their existing licence conditions. (For example, if a venue is currently permitted to have gaming machines operating until 5.30am, this will not change.)
Applying for approved extended liquor trading hours
If a venue wants to sell alcohol after 12 midnight, and is not currently approved to do so, they will still need to apply for extended trading hours approval.
Changes to approved extended trading hours for gaming
From 1 July 2016, new applications for extended trading hours for gaming can only be sought up to 2 hours past the end of alcohol trade. For example, if you are authorised to sell alcohol until 3am, you will be able to apply for gaming until 5am.
The hours conditioned on a gaming licence that is in place before 1 July 2016 will not change. For example, if a venue is currently permitted to have gaming machines operating until 5.30am, this will not change.
Applying for one-off extended trading hour permits
All licensed premises in Queensland can still apply for up to 12 one-off extended trading hour permits each year.
Extended trading hours for bottle shops
OLGR will not grant new approvals for trading hours beyond 10pm for the sale of takeaway alcohol. Outlets currently approved to sell alcohol past 10pm will not be impacted - their current trading hours will remain in place.
Ban on rapid intoxication drinks after 12 midnight
On 4 March 2016, the Queensland Government amended the Liquor Act 1992 (Liquor Act) to prohibit the sale or supply of rapid intoxication drinks that pose a high risk of alcohol-related harm.
A statutory ban prohibits the sale or supply of rapid intoxication drinks between 12am midnight and 5am for venues authorised to trade past midnight. Under the Liquor Act, a rapid intoxication drink is one that is designed to be consumed rapidly or contains a high percentage of alcohol, and is prescribed by regulation.
The drinks to be banned have now been prescribed in the Liquor Regulation and the ban will take effect from 1 July 2016.
Prescribed rapid intoxication drinks
From 1 July 2016, the prescribed rapid intoxication drinks include:
- a drink served in a small glass or container such as shooters, shots, bombs, test tubes, jelly shots, and other similar drinks
- a drink prepared on the premises that contains more than 45ml of spirits or liqueur
- a pre-mixed alcoholic drink containing more than 5% of ethyl alcohol (ethanol) or containing more ethanol than 2 standard drinks. A pre-mixed drink must fall within both the 5% alcohol by volume threshold and the 2 standard drinks threshold in order to be served after midnight.
Note: The Liquor Regulation 2002 notes a pre-mixed alcoholic drink as ‘an alcoholic mixed drink prepared by a manufacturer’. It does not include brewed or fermented alcoholic drinks (for example, beer and wine).
Exemptions from the ban on rapid intoxication drinks
Cocktails are exempt from the ban on rapid intoxication drinks during the restricted period, provided the cocktail:
- is listed on a document (cocktail menu) prepared by the licensee and displayed on the premises listing the cocktails that may be sold in the venue
- price is listed on the cocktail menu
- is not sold for less than the amount specified on the menu after 12 midnight
- is not designed for rapid consumption (for example, cocktail shooters are not exempt).
Airports and casinos are exempt from the statutory ban.
Penalties for selling or supplying rapid intoxication drinks after 12 midnight
Sale or supply of rapid intoxication drinks during the restricted period will result in a penalty of $12,190 (100 units) current as of 1 July 2016.
From 1 February 2017, a 1am lock out will apply to all licensed premises in a safe night precinct, where the precinct is approved for 3am trading (i.e. a 3am safe night precinct). This means patrons cannot enter any licensed premises in a 3am safe night precinct between 1am and 3am. This restriction applies even if the licensee is only authorised to sell alcohol until 2am.
After 3am, patrons can enter a venue to purchase food, non-alcoholic drinks and to partake in entertainment or authorised gaming.
Lock out exemptions
The lock out does not apply to:
- casinos, licensed premises in airports and industrial canteens
- premises located outside of a 3am safe night precinct (however, the Commissioner may choose to include a lock out condition on any extended trading hours permit granted)
- premises within a 3am safe night precinct where trading between 1am and 3am is under an extended trading hours permit (however, the Commissioner may choose to include a lock out condition on these permits).
Takeaway alcohol and samples
The Tackling Alcohol-fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Act 2016 will allow for the sale and sampling of craft beer at promotional events. It will also introduce changes regarding taking alcohol to and/or from community clubs and some public events.
Selling craft beer at promotional events
On a date yet to be determined, small craft beer producers that hold a producer/wholesaler liquor licence in Queensland (and holders of an equivalent liquor licence in another state) will be allowed to sell craft beer at promotional events, such as food and wine festivals. These small producers will be able to apply for a ‘craft beer producer permit’ to:
- sell their craft beer, for takeaway, at a promotional event
- supply their craft beer as a free-of-charge sample at an event.
Takeaway alcohol from community clubs
From 4 March 2016, community clubs are allowed to sell takeaway alcohol to visitors, guests of members and guests of reciprocal club members. However, visitors must reside outside of Queensland, or at least 15km from the club.
Taking alcohol into (or away from) certain public events
On a date yet to be determined, people will be prohibited from taking alcohol into, or away from, any activity conducted under a community liquor permit or commercial public events permit.
Some liquor products exempt from Liquor Act
From 4 March 2016, food additives (and substances used as ingredients in food preparation) are no longer subject to the Liquor Act. This exclusion does not apply if the substance is being used as a beverage or for manufacturing a beverage; for example, table wine that is packaged and labelled as cooking wine would not be exempt.
As previously announced, mandatory ID scanning has been deferred to allow further consultation with stakeholders about the initiative.
From 4 March 2016, late-trading licensees within the Brisbane City Council area only need to enter an incident into the incident register if it is not recorded in the crowd controller register. This will remove duplication.
Investigator’s power to formally request documents
From 4 March 2016, investigators have the power to give written notice to licensees to produce documents relevant to administering and enforcing the Act.
Risk-assessed management plans
From 4 March 2016, holders of subsidiary off-premises licences, where the principal activity is providing floral arrangements or gift baskets, do not need to complete a risk-assessed management plan (RAMP).
Acceptable evidence of age
From 4 March 2016, the types of identification that are considered acceptable evidence of age have been clarified, as has the fact that the identification must be current.
- Last reviewed
- July 8, 2016
General enquiries 13 QGOV (13 74 68)
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