Qld liquor licence checks intensify for holidays

Queensland’s Office of Liquor & Gaming Regulation has announced that it will be intensifying checks on licensees from tomorrow.

In a Facebook post today, the office said OLGR compliance officers will be undertaking ramped-up site visits checking that licensees are not engaging in “unacceptable alcohol practice or promotions during the busy holiday period”.

It defines unacceptable practices and promotions as any that could appeal to children, are offensive or encourage the irresponsible consumption of alcohol, including offering free drinks or discounted drinks in a way that encourages patrons to consume excessive amounts of alcohol.

“It has been a tough year and it is expected Queenslanders will be keen to celebrate its end in style. We have all done a great job working together to keep Queenslanders safe. Let’s continue to do so as we head into the New Year,” the statement said.

It pointed licensees towards its compliance programme and promotion obligations.

Meanwhile, other liquor authorities across Australia have doubled down on COVID regulations, with Liquor & Gaming NSW handing out fines to venues such as the Golden Sheaf Hotelwhich received a $5,500 fine for breaching COVID-19 public health orders.

Images of the 250 customers at the hotel not adhering to social distancing outside the pub were taken by the public and reported to the police.

Meanwhile, the Victorian Government has recently cut red tape to allow overseas drivers licences to be used as proof of age for entry into licensed venues, bringing the state in line with other Australian states and territories.

As venues continue to welcome back patrons following the easing of Victorian lockdown restrictions, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation said that venues should remind staff of liquor licensing conditions including temporary licenses and new outdoor seating conditions as defined in the state government’s COVID reopening guidelines.

In WA, its phase four of eased restrictions was modified and extended at the end of October based on health advice.

However, the state government warned that WA had a “high susceptibility” to COVID-19 outbreaks and has delayed the implementation of its phase five, which it attributed to the situations in NSW and Victoria at the time.

Now, while Victoria has begun to emerge from lockdown, South Australia was presumed to have seen another outbreak and as such, the state government ordered a new stay-at-home direction, effective from 19th until 25th November. However, reports today have indicated that the outbreak was not as widespread as first feared, and the government has updated its directive to cut lockdown, which will now end at 11.59pm on Saturday 21st November.

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