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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 25 March 2010) . . Page.. 1559 ..

Existing offences dealing with the supply of liquor to minors will continue to apply. There will be a new offence for young people to work and supply liquor in an adults-only area. However, if a young person is employed in a licensed venue, they are able to serve liquor in the non-adults-only area. For example, where a young person is employed to serve food in a licensed restaurant, they are able to serve a glass of wine with the meal at the table but are not allowed to serve liquor at the bar.

Part 8 also includes a new initiative to require a licensee to maintain an incident register which would record any incident involving violence and antisocial behaviour occurring in the immediate vicinity of the licensed premises. This will enable the commissioner to use this information as a basis for taking regulatory action.

Two new initiatives include the addition of new offences dealing with the promotional and marketing activities associated with liquor. The first offence is a general prohibition on any promotional or marketing activity which encourages excessive or rapid consumption of liquor. I note at the moment here in Canberra there is a nightclub promoting the sale of one-litre cocktails and encouraging young women to buy one between them. That type of activity, in my view, is grossly irresponsible, and this new provision is designed to deal with the problems associated with that type of promotion. The second offence allows the government to promote specific promotional or marketing activities by regulation, such as an activity which inappropriately targets children or young people.

Part 9 gives the commissioner and police new powers to intervene in emergency situations. If a situation arises where the commissioner needs to act immediately to protect the safety of the community, the commissioner could issue a written binding direction on the licensee to stop or undertake a specific action. Similarly, if an emergency arises which requires police intervention to protect the safety of the community, the police will be able to close a venue for up to 24 hours. These powers will allow the government to respond immediately to situations which threaten the community safety in a serious way.

Part 10 retains the current enforcement powers where police deal with public offences, and the regulatory authority deals with all licensing matters, for example, the management of licensed or permitted premises. Part 11 sets out the processes for complaints and occupational discipline. Part 12 gives the commissioner power to approve a training organisation to provide a specified responsible service of alcohol course. Part 13 requires the commissioner to keep and maintain licences and permit registers for public inspection. Part 14 sets out what a reviewable decision is and the application process for review.

Finally, part 15 introduces a new power for the commissioner to declare a public place as a temporary alcohol-free zone for special events to protect the social amenity of the event, making it an offence for anyone to consume liquor in that area, in addition to the prescribed public places in the act and regulations. Part 15 also contains other interpretative and procedural provisions for taking a proceeding for an offence against the act and the setting of fees.

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