By Andy Young
The NSW Liquor Amendment (Reviews) Bill, which was passed by the State Parliament last week, will see strikes recorded against licensed venues removed.
The changes to the laws will see strikes now recorded against the licensee rather than the venue, as TheShout reported earlier this week.
Minister Paul Toole said it would be “impractical” for the previous strikes to remain in place when moving forward with the new scheme as it would mean that two different schemes would be in place at the same time.
Arthur Laundy, whose hotel The Steyne in Manly received a strike, told TheShout that he felt "vindicated in as much as right from the start I have said that I don’t believe this is a fair rule".
"I’ve said it right from the start, the government got it right with the clubs, but they didn’t get it right with the hotels," Laundy said. As I explained to someone yesterday who was struggling to understand the issue: you own a trucking company and you employ drivers, if a driver goes out and has a serious accident, who should get the penalty? The driver of the truck, or the owner of the truck? He said, good analogy, I understand."
He added: "I own the hotel, but I’m not at the hotel. I’m not the licensee. I’ve never considered it was a fair rule. I’ve argued now for some years on exactly that line. People have called me this morning to say it was a good victory, and I’ve said it was fair. I don’t think I asked for anything that was unfair."
Michael Waters, Executive Director of the Liquor Stores Association New South Wales, told TheShout that it made sense to have a fresh start.
"Given the way in which the Scheme currently operates will change, with strikes to be applicable to the individual and not the licence, it makes sense to re-set the strikes and start fresh," Waters said.
"Any business who has previously received a strike should expect the Regulator to be closely monitoring their ongoing compliance, and the LSA is here to help ensure that our members are not only compliant, but demonstrate best practice and are capable of self-regulation.
"These reforms will make the system fairer, iron out anomalies and reduce cost for industry and Government".
Laundy added: "I am very happy. But I’m not only happy for me, I’m happy for my industry. The AHA and I have worked tirelessly on this for the last three years."