Page 418 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 4 March 2008
the responsible service of alcohol. This is not a big impost on business; it is not a big impost on staff. But it does involve training staff in the tactics and strategies they need to be aware of when it comes to serving alcohol and, in fact, refusing service of alcohol to those people who are already intoxicated. This is just one step that the government is taking to address these issues.
Members would be aware that the government has recently introduced into this place legislation to provide on-the-spot fines for antisocial behaviour in nightspots around the city. That legislation is before the Assembly currently.
The government has already increased and improved police resources to provide for a better policing presence in a range of locations around the city. This government has funded the staffing of 107 more police to provide for a better police presence right across the city.
I am also pleased to advise members today that the Liquor Licensing Board, at its last meeting, took a decision to fine two popular nightspots a total of $10,000 for a series of breaches of the Liquor Act. These include failing to pay previous fines ordered by the board and not keeping fire exits clear. These were some of the issues that were involved in those particular breaches.
These $10,000 fines make it clear to licensees that the government and the Liquor Licensing Board take very seriously our responsibilities to ensure compliance with the Liquor Licensing Act. Those fines should send a clear message to those two bars, the Echo Bar in Civic and Ojo Cafe and Bar in Tuggeranong, that breaches of the Liquor Act carry very heavy penalties and we expect people to abide by their obligations when they become liquor licensees.
These are just part of the range of measures the government is putting in place. I will shortly be releasing a discussion paper which outlines the various options for a complete review of the Liquor Act, and I will be welcoming the feedback from the industry itself, from people with an interest in this area and, of course, from the broader community on what should be the responsible reforms needed in the ACT’s liquor legislation.
But it is very important to stress that the government has put in place very quickly a prompt range of measures. My colleague Mr Hargreaves put in place the Nightlink taxi service. In fact, that was foreshadowed in the third quarter of last year as an important reform in providing a better taxi service in and out of the city late at night.
The government has increased police resources. We now have our proposals for on-the-spot fines in the nightclub districts and, indeed, right across the city. The government has said that the mandatory responsible service of alcohol is going to be part of our review of the Liquor Act and an important reform. We are reforming the act more generally.
This is a government that is getting on with and dealing with and tackling these issues. We have a comprehensive range of measures in place. We are very pleased with the community response to these measures and will be looking forward to