By James Atkinson

A Canberra bar has been fined $3000 for failing to ensure the emergency exit of the premises was unimpeded.

The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) found that Hippo Bar, which is currently closed for refurbishment, contravened the Liquor Act in November and December last year when it did not comply with its approved risk-assessment management plan.

"The contraventions are a serious breach of your responsibilities as a liquor licence holder," ACAT general president Linda Crebbin told the bar's owners.

"The granting of a licence to sell liquor on premises is a privilege that carries with it a responsibility to ensure that premises are safe by, amongst other things, ensuring that emergency exits are unimpeded so that patrons can be safely evacuated in the event of a fire or other emergency." 

She said ACAT acknowledged that Hippo Bar had immediately accepted that the contraventions occurred and took steps to reduce the likelihood of a similar incident occurring.

"These actions do not excuse the contraventions, however they demonstrate that you recognise the importance of the responsibilities of a licensee," she said.

General president Crebbin ordered Hippo Bar to pay a $3000 fine and provide a written undertaking addressing its conduct to the ACT Commissioner for Fair Trading.

Hippo Bar did not respond to a request for comment.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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