Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 26 August 2010) . . Page.. 4113 ..
Clause 25 agreed to.
Clauses 26 to 77, by leave, taken together and agreed to.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (6.00), by leave: I move amendments Nos 6 and 7 circulated in my name together [see schedule 1 at page 4137].
These amendments are quite different in nature to the amendments we have just discussed. Clause 78(a) of the bill as it is currently drafted suggests that the assessment of premises for their suitability as licensed premises could be adversely impacted if there is any previous history of any conviction of, or finding of guilt against, any person for an offence involving the premises.
Let me put a scenario to you and explain what the legislation currently means. Let us say that a person applies to have licensed premises in a certain place. The person has no personal record of any conviction against the Liquor Act and that person has never previously held a licence. That person has never had any association with anyone, with the premises themselves or any of the previous licence holders of the premises he now proposes to operate.
Three years ago a person completely unknown to the current applicant was found guilty of an offence under this act involving these premises. The clause of this bill would suggest that the commissioner should take into account the behaviour of a person three years ago when assessing the suitability of the premises for a licence application, even though there was no association between the current licence applicant and the other person at the time of the offence.
That would be a gross injustice and an act of discrimination against the licence applicant. It would be a nonsense. Why should an applicant applying for a licence today be held to account for the actions of someone else in the premises under the control of a different licensee some time before?
This amendment seeks to address this anomaly and provide clarity by providing that the suitability of the premises should be assessed in the context of the current applicant’s behaviour as a responsible person or the behaviour of a close associate of the responsible person or, in the case of a corporation, any influential person in that corporation. This criterion requires the commissioner to assess the suitability of the premises based on the record of the applicant as the responsible person or his associates. Remember that an application can be for a new licence or permit, or an existing licence or permit holder applying for a renewal. This amendment looks at the contemporary rather than the history and matches the record of the premises with the people who will have control over the premises.
Amendment No 7, which is also to clause 78, is in a similar vein to amendment 6. It will require the commissioner, rather than considering any past proven non-compliance of the premises, to consider the record of the premises in the context of the current licensed applicant. Like the previous amendment, it puts the assessment