The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government has drafted new liquor legislation following a review of four years. The proposed new laws will • Raise the licensing fees of businesses that buy more than $3 million of alcohol a year by between 5 and 20%. The extra funds raised will go towards an education campaign about responsible drinking.
- Cut the licensing fees for venues that shut before 2am and only hold up to 150 people, by 25%.
- Make it an offence to try an re-enter a licenced venue or hang around after you have been evicted or refused entry.
- Give licensees the statutory power to evict or refuse entry to drunk or violent patrons.
- Change the definition of ‘intoxication’ to include impairment by drugs or a combination of liquor and drugs.
- Put six extra police officers on night time patrols around Civic.
- Allow licensees to be issued with perpetual liquor licences, eliminating the current one and three year licences.
- Give licensees six extended trading authorisations per year, allowing them to trade outside their normal hours for special events.
The Commissioner for Fair Trading will be given the power to force a venue to install security cameras as part of their licence conditions. The laws will also clarify the commissioner’s power to enforce licence conditions such as no glass or shots after midnight. The Attorney-General’s powers will be extended to bar alcohol products that appear to target children or young people. ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said the bill struck a balance between promoting Canberra’s nightlife and keeping people safe.