Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 11 May 2017) . . Page.. 1749 ..
It has been noted in the past that similar provisions exist in tobacco legislation. Detail was provided to my office about the application of those. That is my understanding historically. I have advice from Mrs Dunne that the Canberra Liberals opposed those provisions, so we are being consistent in this matter. It is also very different sending a minor into Woolies to buy tobacco or liquor from sending them into a nightclub or a venue late at night, which may be the case with the application of these laws. Just going into a venue or a liquor outlet may be an issue.
I understand the government’s intent here. Let me be very clear that the Canberra Liberals do not support the sale of alcohol to minors. We would support actions that the government would take, either working with industry or through other mechanisms, to make sure that that does not occur. We would certainly call for the measures that are currently available in the law to prosecute, when appropriate, where that is occurring. Although we support the intent, which is to stop the sale of alcohol to minors, we do not support this particular methodology. We have had those discussions with the minister’s office. We want to make sure that we are protecting minors. We think that this is potentially the wrong way to go. As I have said, we will support this bill at the detail stage, but we will be opposing that particular clause.
I thank the retailers association, ClubsACT, the AHA and the Law Society for their input and consideration. I thank the minister and his office for the support that they have provided, and certainly the very hardworking and industrious members of the directorate I see sitting over there—Kim and Michael. Well done on the work that you and your colleagues have been doing with regard to this bill. Finally, I note that we will continue to monitor this legislation to make sure that what we are passing here today is what happens on the ground.
MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (6.11): I would like to very briefly draw an issue to the Assembly’s attention. While I believe I am not conflicted—and my discussion with the ethics adviser will confirm this—I would like to draw to the Assembly’s attention that my wife has a liquor off-licence, as declared in my statement of interests, for her boutique hamper business. I think it is worthwhile making the Assembly aware of that.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (6.12): I rise today to give my support to the provisions in the Liquor Amendment Bill 2017. The Greens support efforts to reduce alcohol related harm. At the same time, we want to see Canberra’s night-life grow into a diverse, vibrant and safe environment. I believe we can have safety and entertainment at the same time. I see this bill as a good first step towards addressing the alcohol related violence and abuse that is a blight on our community by introducing some important harm minimisation measures. At the same time, the bill includes provisions to reduce the regulatory burden on the liquor and hospitality industries, particularly changes to licensing arrangements, which will support smaller bars and diversify the range of venues in our city.
A key provision that will support harm reduction is the introduction of a new offence if a person who has been evicted from a venue remains within the vicinity or attempts to re-enter the venue without a reasonable excuse. I understand that this provision was