Responsible service August 2010
Liquor accords throughout Queensland have been a great success in combating anti-social behaviour and reducing alcohol-fuelled violence in pubs and clubs.
The cooperation between Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) officers, local licensees, councils, police and health services has created a powerful force to promote safe and responsible drinking. I was fortunate enough to meet with two accords this month and commend them on their ongoing commitment to patron safety.
During this month's Community Cabinet in Roma I met with representatives from the Roma Liquor Industry Action Group (LIAG) who told me about a great initiative they had set up to teach local year 12 students about responsible drinking behaviour before they can legally have a drink in a pub. The Bligh Government is very supportive of education programs like this that teach young people the way to behave with alcohol.
I also met with the Cairns City Licensee Safety Association during a trip to Tropical North Queensland. The accord has delivered several initiatives designed to deliver long-term improvements to the Cairns CBD and are on the cusp of their next hard-hitting measure. The association has already introduced an effective drink promotions policy and set up a radio connection with council security. The association's latest initiative – a potential patron banning scheme – will go that extra mile and say loudly that problem drinking will not be tolerated here.
There are now more than 80 liquor accords across the State and I commend them all on their commitment to patron safety – keep up the good work!
Since the introduction of annual liquor licence fees last year, OLGR has aimed to improve the process for licensees across Queensland.
We’ve increased payment options, by introducing Bpay and improved the forms that help us process over 6000 payments each July.
The fees were introduced as a way to help cover the cost of regulating the industry, ensuring the liquor industry plays its part in contributing to the cost of minimising liquor related harm. Fees raised go towards compliance activities and community education campaigns designed to boost safety in and around licensed venues.
If you haven't already paid your fees your liquor licence has been suspended. I urge you to read the article on liquor licence fees in the August edition of Responsible service and call OLGR on 13 13 04 to avoid licence cancellation.
In gaming news, the Productivity Commission has released its final report into gambling in late June 2010. The Productivity Commission highlighted Queensland for its declining gambling prevalence rates and has made several recommendations for the nation to follow in this trend. An article on the report is in this issue, with a link to the final report for your interest.
Annual liquor licence fees were due by 2 August 2010.
Any licensee who has not paid their annual fees would have recently received a suspension notification from OLGR. If payment is not received by midnight on 30 August 2010 the licence will be automatically cancelled. Licensees who wish to re-establish their licence will have to make an application for a new licence and go through the full application process.
While a suspension is in place licensees are not authorised to sell or supply liquor. In the case of hotels and clubs where the licensee also holds a gaming machine licence, this will also be suspended. This means the hotel and club will not be permitted to conduct gaming at the premises until the suspension has been lifted.
Please note the payment of annual liquor licence fees is still required for voluntarily suspended licences to maintain the current licence together with any associated approvals.
Licence cancellation implications – extended trading hours
It is important for all licensees to understand the implications of having their licence cancelled, particularly in relation to extended trading hours.
Any licensee who currently has extended trading hours, but has their licence cancelled, will have to reapply for extended hours in addition to applying for a new licence. There is currently a state-wide moratorium on extended hours applications for post midnight trading, with the exception of premises in designated areas. This means that premises located outside the designated areas are currently unable to apply for extended hours so any consideration of a new licence application would not include extended trading hours.
OLGR is currently investigating a number of allegations of interstate based corporate bookmakers offering their services to Queensland licensed venues. These activities may include the promotion of online and phone betting services and the installation of betting terminals inside licensed venues.
Licensees entering into arrangements with interstate bookmakers may be in breach of both the Interactive Gambling (Player Protection) Act 1998 and the Liquor Act 1992 and may face prosecution.
If licensees are found guilty of such breaches they may be required to show cause why their liquor licence (and gaming licence if applicable) should not be cancelled or suspended.
If licensees are approached by interstate bookmakers or their representatives, it is strongly recommended they seek their own independent legal advice prior to entering into any such arrangements.
In Queensland, under the Wagering Act 1998, UNiTAB holds the exclusive licence to conduct sports and race wagering.
If you have been contacted or know of any licensee who has an arrangement with an interstate corporate bookmaker, please notify OLGR Investigations Manager Glenn Tathem on (07) 3872 0893.
Following an extensive inquiry into gambling, the Productivity Commission has recommended a number of initiatives to be rolled out nationally that are already part of the Queensland Government’s strategy to minimise gambling related harm.
Initiatives recommended for a national roll-out include, pre-commitment, improved training for venue staff about problem gambling and improved in-venue warning signs and help messages – all of which are on the Queensland gambling regulatory agenda.
As further confirmation of Queensland’s response to problem gambling, the 2008-09 household gambling survey results revealed a steady decline in the problem gambling rate since the introduction of the responsible gambling strategy. In 2001, problem gambling affected 0.83 per cent of the Queensland population – our most recent figures show just 0.37 per cent are affected.
Queensland will continue to collaborate with other jurisdictions to develop a nationally harmonised approach to gambling harm minimisation, particularly in relation to developing national standards for gaming machines, pre-commitment initiatives and training.
The final report of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into gambling will inform updates to Queensland’s gambling policy framework, as well as the co-operative work already occurring at a national level. This much-anticipated report is a solid contribution to the ongoing policy debate that will help shape the best approach to minimising harm from gambling. To read the report, click here.
The approved manager position introduced in 2009 is now fully implemented, and most licensed premises in Queensland require at least one approved manager.
When the position was first introduced, to assist with the transition OLGR allowed former nominees a grace period as “deemed approved managers”. That deemed period is now over, and all premises that require an approved manager should already have one approved by OLGR.
Now almost all licensed premises in Queensland require at least one approved manager registered with OLGR – but there are a few exemptions. As long as all staff selling or supplying liquor are volunteers supervised by a staff member who has current RSA training, the following licence types are exempt from having an approved manager:
• community clubs
• community other
• restricted liquor permit
• community liquor permit.
In all other licensed premises, an individual licensee or approved manager must be on site or reasonably available during ordinary trading hours and approved extended trading hours between 7am and 10am and on site during extended trading hours of midnight to 5am. Reasonably available means the staff member must be able to attend a licensed premises within one hour and readily contactable by all staff members who are involved in the sale or supply of alcohol.
Of course, we understand that this may not always be possible – especially for those in remote areas – so it is possible in certain circumstances to apply for an extension to that one hour period, simply by submitting a written request to the ED. For further information in regard to this matter, please contact OLGR on 07 3224 7131.
There is no limit to the number of approved managers a licensed premises can have – and it’s a good idea to have a back up in case of staff leave.
Following legislative changes, Responsible Service of Gambling (RSG) will be mandatory for gaming staff from 1 October 2010.
This means it will be necessary for people who carry out gaming duties or gaming tasks – such as eligible licensees, gaming nominee licence holders and gaming employee licence holders – to undertake RSG training.
Existing staff will have until 1 July 2011 to undertake the training.
Staff employed on or after 1 October 2010 will have three months to undertake the new training.
RSG training takes four to five hours and must be completed with a trainer approved by OLGR. For further information on mandatory RSG training, please contact Operations Unit, Gaming Services Branch on (07) 3235 4487 or (07) 3872 0913.
During the next few months, OLGR will publish a range of articles clarifying standard licence types in the Responsible service newsletter.
Last edition covered the ‘commercial hotel’. This edition covers small bars – officially known as commercial other (bar).
The small or boutique bar licence type was introduced as part of wide-ranging liquor reforms, effective from 1 January 2009. The licence type was introduced to provide for smaller, more intimate spaces for Queenslanders to enjoy a night out.
There are so far less than 10 small bars operating in Queensland.
Principal activity: the sale of liquor on the licensed premises having the capacity to seat not more than 60 patrons at any one time.
Licence fee: base fee of $531.45
Trading hours: standard hours of 10 am to 12 midnight, extended hours permitted upon successful application.
Public holidays: Good Friday and Christmas: standard trading of 10am to midnight while eating meals; Anzac Day: no trade before 1pm, unless with a meal.
Take-away: take-away alcohol is not permitted.
Management: an approved manager is mandatory unless the licensee is an individual and is on site or reasonably available.
Special conditions: a small bar can hold no more than 60 people.
Dangerous new trends are becoming apparent with an increase in the number of young people who are binge drinking.
Binge drinking greatly increases the risk and incidence of injury, assault, public disorder, social, health and other problems. Extreme discounts and other drink promotions targeting young people perpetuate a culture of binge drinking. The practice may be driven by one or two licensees in a locality with others then being driven by competitive pressures to follow.
The key rule to remember when advertising drink promotions is to keep it inside. There is a State-wide ban on external advertising if the promotion is for liquor to be consumed on premises and this includes any form of internet advertising. A list of the do’s and don’ts on advertising are included in the Advertising ban on drink promotions fact sheet.
Following the introduction of the 17 point action plan Brisbane City safety action plan, there are different rules set out for licensees that trade after 1am in the Brisbane City Council area. Happy hours are only allowed for one or two hours during specified periods and promotions must be conducted in a responsible manner. Brisbane-specific rules on happy hours and acceptable and prohibited drink promotions can be found on page two of the Liquor licences in the Brisbane City Council area fact sheet.
Licensees are reminded that although drink promotions are not completely outlawed, obligations relating to the service, supply and promotion of liquor, as outlined in section 148A of the Liquor Act 1992, still apply.
If you require further information, please contact OLGR on 13 13 04.
The Gold Coast responsible gambling network is hosting a forum at the Nerang RSL on Tuesday 14 September at 10am.
If you’re from the Gold Coast and would like to get involved, please contact Glenys Roberts on (07) 5592 8197.
The Queensland Government is introducing more secure, more durable and more credible licences, authorities and proof of age cards to replace the current laminated cards.
From late 2010, the new cards available will be:
• driver licence
• heavy vehicle driver licence
• adult proof of age card (to replace the Card 18+)
• industry authority (which includes authorisations, certificates and accreditations)
• marine licence Indicator card (for marine licence holders who do not have a Queensland driver licence).
All licensing and personal information currently on laminated cards will remain, but you will find the cardholder’s residential address on the back of all cards (except for Adult Proof of Age cards where there is no address).
What does this mean for venue entry?
Once Queensland starts transitioning to the new cards, it will take approximately five years for all driver licences and authorities to be renewed to the new cards. During this time, customers may present a laminated card or new card. Both products can be accepted as proof of identity (provided they are current) until laminated cards are phased out.
The current Card 18+ does not have an expiry date and people do not have to replace the laminated Card 18+ with the new adult proof of age card when it becomes available. Therefore you will continue to see the existing laminated products and the new product for many years.
Once an application for a licence or authority has been approved, customers will receive an interim document to show police officers etc. Interim documents are:
• driver licence receipt
• marine licence indicator receipt
• interim industry authority.
The interim document is a valid form of proof of holding a licence or authority until the new card is received in the mail – but it’s not considered a valid evidence of identity document. For adult proof of age card applicants, the confirmation slip is proof they have lodged an application, not valid proof of age and businesses should request an alternative document from their customers.
For more information, visit www.transport.qld.gov.au/cards
A new risk assessment program - Armed Robbery Management Online User Resource or ARMOUR – will help licensees in the south side of Brisbane combat armed robberies.
Following more than 90 armed robberies in South Brisbane, the Queensland Police Service has developed an online resource which allows users to access a tailored questionnaire covering topics such as security, staff procedures and business design. The program assesses their risk and if the assessment returns a high risk, the user can request a crime prevention officer to come out and discuss what might be necessary to reduce the risk.
For further information about this project email Michelle Mullen from Queensland Police at Mullen.MichelleL@police.qld.gov.au
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