The Queensland government has begun consulting key stakeholders ahead of regulatory changes for online and delivery liquor sales.

The consultation fulfills a 2020 election promise, with the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General seeking the views of industry, community, and government stakeholders.

“We know ordering liquor online and having it delivered offers customers greater convenience and provides commercial benefits for liquor retailers and delivery businesses, but we must ensure appropriate safeguards exist to ensure potential harm and violence is minimised,” said Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman.

The current Queensland legislations around the sale of liquor are the Liquor Act 1992 and Wine Industry Act 1994, which focus on bricks and mortar licensed premises. Neither Act provides explicit guidelines or harm-minimisation obligations regarding online liquor sales and delivery.

“We want to address the high risks associated with these sales, including the potential supply of liquor to minors and unduly intoxicated people,” Fentiman continued.

“We have already seen New South Wales and Victoria implement new legislation to regulate the online sale and delivery of liquor and this issue requires our attention too.”

Before legislation in this space began to develop around the country, Retail Drinks Australia released the world-first Online Alcohol Sale and Delivery Code of Conduct in 2019.

CEO, Michael Waters, said: “Retail Drinks Australia supports the action being taken by Queensland and will encourage it to adopt the principles enshrined in the very successful industry Code.

“Our experience, with members who collectively control more than 80 per cent of the online market, is that online sales growth is due to its inherent convenience, which matches the trend across all of retail since the COVID-19 lockdowns triggered a fundamental shift in consumer behaviour.”

The initial consultation phase on this new regulation will be open until 10 May and will determine potential costs, risks, issues, and impacts. Consultation will soon also be opened up for members of the public to have their say on regulations.

“I encourage the liquor industry and community stakeholders to read the consultation paper and have their say, their views are valued and will contribute to ensuring we get this important reform right,” concluded Fentiman.

More information about how to have your say is available on the Queensland Government website.

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