Page 4443 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 14 October 2009

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MS GALLAGHER: I will take that question on notice as well.

Public safety

MS PORTER: My question is to the Attorney-General. Could the minister please update the Assembly on the measures the Labor government is implementing to reduce antisocial behaviour in and around Canberra’s entertainment precincts?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for the question, because the Labor government is taking a number of significant steps to improve public safety, particularly in Canberra’s entertainment precincts, and in particular to deal with issues around violence and other antisocial behaviour in those precincts, particularly on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Members would know that just over a week ago I announced the Labor government’s comprehensive rewrite of our Liquor Act, the first time that that has been done since the 1970s, and that work is of course the outcome of a very detailed process of policy development and public consultation with the Canberra community. These reforms provide for the establishment of dedicated ACT Policing teams; extra regulatory inspectors; and new offences, including the offence of supplying alcohol to an intoxicated person by patrons and by employees on a licensed premise.

We will also look at new offences, including abusing, threatening or intimidating an employee who refuses the service of alcohol because a person is intoxicated, and we will also focus new offences on those licensed outlets that offer alcohol promotions that encourage the rapid consumption of alcohol.

This is all part of a dedicated program to tackle the antisocial and violent behaviour that we see, unfortunately, all too often in our entertainment precincts, particularly late at night towards the end of the week.

We as a government are committed to tackling this issue, to giving licensees the tools they need to refuse service and to maintain the safety of all the patrons in their licensed premises, but also giving the tools and the laws that our police need and our inspectors need to ensure that licensees are abiding by the conditions of their licence.

A key element of this reform is the establishment of risk-based licensing. For the first time, we will shift away from a flat fee when it comes to licensed premises and we will move towards risk-based licensing, so the high-risk premises, larger premises that trade late into the night or early morning, will pay more for that privilege. That is what it is: it is a privilege, not a right; not something that is automatically available to them. That risk-based licensing regime will reflect the commensurate impact that those licensed premises can have on the broader community and at the same time it will provide the resources we need to improve public safety overall by providing funding to dedicated policing teams and to extra regulatory activities.

We will also introduce mandatory responsible service of alcohol training for all staff in all licensed premises. This is an important provision and one that I know many licensed premises take seriously already but we will make it mandatory and across the

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