By Annette Shailer

Victorian pubs, bars and clubs will soon be required to provide free drinking water after a new Bill was introduced into State Parliament yesterday (Jul 27).

The Brumby Labor Government’s latest reforms of Victoria’s liquor licensing system, are aimed at encouraging a more responsible drinking culture and easing the burden on low-risk businesses.

The new legislation will also clear the way for businesses such as hair salons to offer alcoholic drinks as a sideline without having to pay for liquor licences.

Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs, Tony Robinson, said the Liquor Control Reform (Amendment) Bill 2010 made a number of changes to the liquor licensing system, including:

  • Extending the renewal date for liquor licences from January 1 to March 31;
  • Exempting hairdressers and butchers providing liquor as part of their businesses from having to obtain a liquor licence;
  • Making Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training compulsory for employees of all bars, pubs and nightclubs; and
  • Making it compulsory for pubs, bars and nightclubs to provide free drinking water.

“The Brumby Labor Government is determined to make our bars, pubs and nightspots safer by ensuring licensees serve alcohol responsibly and encouraging more sensible drinking,” Robinson said.

“Compulsory RSA training for staff and free water for patrons help reduce drunkenness and will make our licensed venues more enjoyable places to have a night out.”

Robinson said the Bill also contained new provisions for businesses that provide sexually explicit entertainment, requiring licensees to notify the Director of Liquor Licensing that they provide this sort of entertainment.

The $30,000 licence renewal fee for venues with sexually explicit entertainment will also be included.

The Shout Team

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

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