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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 February 2008) . . Page.. 200 ..

promote a level of self-regulation within the industry. The review will also examine the current definition of “liquor” and “intoxication” and a time frame for the assessment of occupancy loadings, which is critical to the maintenance of a safe drinking environment.

The review will examine the merits of introducing Plimsoll lines on glasses, which would increase consumer awareness of how many standard drinks patrons are actually consuming. The review will examine the role and training of crowd controllers at licensed premises and the maintenance of incident registers by all liquor licensees, not just those who hold a security master licence.

The review will examine the adequacy of existing liquor law regulatory and operational resources in the territory to deliver a safe and effective liquor licensing environment for the ACT community to enjoy. The review will also consider any other anomalies in the legislation. The Liquor Act review, together with other previously mentioned reforms, will ensure that the ACT’s regulatory regime continues to meet community expectations around the reasonable sale, service and consumption of alcohol in the territory.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (5.07): Firstly, I commend the Leader of the Opposition for moving this motion. As a participant in the roundtable, I thought it was a very worthwhile exercise. It is a shame that the government wants to take out any reference to the community.

Mr Gentleman talked about the review. Most of the government’s activity and suggested solutions seem to involve coming down hard on licensees, on the people who run these establishments, rather than on the individuals who frequent them. I think there does need to be a holistic approach. The government’s attitude is to kick business in the head. At the end of the day, people should be responsible for their own actions. People are not forced to go out and make absolute gooses of themselves by drinking themselves into insensibility; they do that themselves. The government needs to have a raft of solutions to the problem. Ninety per cent of its solutions involve putting the blame on people who, in many respects, are probably the least blameworthy of all the relevant participants. It never fails to amaze me how the Labor Party constantly tries to put the blame on business rather than on where it should be.

There are some serious problems with voluntary breath testing. Is it proposed to do that to people who are drunk? If they get uppity, you will end up with more serious problems, such as assaulting police. Is it going to be—

Mr Seselja: I think the attorney has quietly disowned that one.

MR STEFANIAK: I hope so. Is it just going to be a novelty for people who want to have a go? When breath testing came in, some people would go around the block so they could ensure that they got breath tested. They had not had anything to drink but it was a bit of a novelty. I really cannot see that working. I hope the Attorney does ditch that proposal because I do not think it will work. No-one at the roundtable—there were police there, as well as licensees, people involved in business and people from the taxi industry—thought that was a good idea. So I would consign that one to the dustbin of history, if I were you, minister, because it is simply not going to work.

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