By Andy Young
The South Australian Government is currently conducting a full-scale review of its Liquor Licensing Act, with today representing the last chance for interested parties to submit comments.
This is the first comprehensive review of the state's liquor legislation since 1996 and the government is looking at all aspects liquor licensing; including but not limited to:
- Red tape reduction for liquor licence applications.
- Alcohol related violence and harm minimisation tactics.
- Current penalties, Liquor and Gambling Commissioner’s powers and Police powers.
- Premium food and wine opportunities.
- Vibrant city and business opportunities.
SA's Attorney-General John Rau said: "The current legislation is the product of layer upon layer of amendments laying over the original Act during the last 20 years.
"Recent minor changes to the legislation to facilitate small venue licenses, have demonstrated that appropriate reform has significant positive outcomes, for both employment and a responsible drinking culture.
“This raises the question as to whether other reforms may be overdue and may have similarly positive outcomes.”
He added: "This is about looking at our current laws and industry framework, identifying where we want to be in the future, and how we are going to get there.
“There are currently 12 different classes of liquor licenses. A number of the processes associated with gaining a licence are repetitive, or unnecessarily cumbersome to business.
"I strongly encourage industry and the community to provide feedback on opportunities for improvement.”
And while encouraging all those involved in the liquor in SA to make sure they make a submission, CEO of the Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA), Terry Mott, hopes the government will use the review to improve the licensing regualtion in the state.
"ALSA is encouraging the SA Government to use the review of the SA Liquor Act as an opportunity to provide a fair and level playing field for similar licence types," Mott told TheShout. "Also to remove the cumbersome and excessive red tape involved in licence applications including the onerous and invasive requirements where applicants need to supply details about their relatives, including their relatives’ financial affairs, credit cards and even driving offences as part of the SA Police checking process.
"The SA market is under similar transitional pressures to the rest of Australia with reducing overall volume of sales of alcohol beverages but shifting preferences to better quality, brand and product differentiation, with unique taste profiles, natural flavours and provenance in wines, ciders, spirits and beers."
Anyone interested in submitting comments must do so by 5pm today, Friday 29 January. To view the full discussion paper or to provide feedback online visit the South Australian Attorney General's website.