The ACT Government is seeking community input regarding amendments to the regulation of same-day alcohol delivery in the state.

The proposed reforms aim to regulate liquor supply and address the unique issues and safety concerns presented by the emerging retail service.

A discussion paper has been released by the ACT Government highlighting the need for a specific legislative framework for same-day deliveries.

ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury, has indicated the proposed legislative amendments would introduce limits to the trading hours of delivery providers, as well as Responsible Service of Alcohol training tailored specifically to the rapid alcohol delivery market.

Under the proposed regulations, it would be an offence to deliver alcohol to intoxicated persons, minors or to excluded areas such as alcohol free zones, in addition to a limit on the volume of alcohol delivered to the same customer in a 24-hour period.

“While these services are convenient for consumers and create retail and employment opportunities, the same day delivery of alcohol presents some risks for the community,” said Rattenbury.

“In particular these include risks for those under the age of 18 and those who are intoxicated when they place an online order.”

Currently, premises from which same day delivery services supply alcohol are regulated by Access Canberra as off-licences. The ACT Government welcomes feedback from residents and stakeholders about the best ways to protect customers, delivery drivers and retailers.

“Any amendments to the Liquor Act 2010 must support our harm minimisation approach to liquor policy in the ACT, including reducing the risk of consuming alcohol at an early age,” added Rattenbury.

“Given our proximity to NSW, the ACT can draw on the experiences from just over the border. In 2021, the NSW Government introduced a framework to regulate alcohol deliveries, making harm minimisation standards more comparable to those at physical bottle shop premises.”

Michael Waters, CEO at Retail Drinks Australia, has welcomed the consultation announced by the ACT Government regarding same day alcohol deliveries and looks forward to participating in this process on behalf of ACT off-licences.

“As part of our thought leadership role in this space, Retail Drinks has had an industry-wide Code of Conduct in place since July 2019, implementing a range of responsibility measures which have helped inform similar processes in other Australian states and territories,” he said.

“This includes a ban on same-day, unattended deliveries, self-exclusion, prohibiting alcohol deliveries to dry zones, and requiring bespoke training for all delivery providers prior to undertaking any alcohol deliveries.

“We have recently released in the last month a comprehensive research report on the online alcohol delivery sector in Australia, analysing over 10 million transactions from the 2021-22 financial year, including both same day and non-same day deliveries, which will be vital in helping to inform this process.”

The discussion paper can be found here, with consultation closing on Wednesday 6 September 2023.

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