By Ian Neubauer
The Tasmanian Government has announced tough new amendments to the 1990 Liquor Licensing Act that dramatically increase existing penalties for the sale or supply of alcohol to minors.
The Liquor Licensing Amendment Bill 2008 increases the maximum penalty applied to a licensee for selling alcohol to a minor from $2400 to $12,000. The bill increases the penalty for persons who sell or supply alcohol to minors, and those who send a minor to purchase alcohol, from $1200 to $6000, and creates a new offence for a licensee if a person they have authorised to sell alcohol on their premises sells alcohol to a drunk person.
The bill will also make it easier for licensees to strengthen the enforcement of legal drinking age in the state by making it an offence for an under-age person to present fake ID. The bill will also allow licensees and their employees to seize and destroy fake ID.
“The Liquor Licensing Amendment Bill 2008 shows the Government’s continued commitment to the responsible serving of alcohol,” said Tasmanian Treasurer Michael Aird. “We need to ensure that both the consumption and availability of alcohol is undertaken in the most responsible way.”
The Treasurer said there were a number of other amendments designed to minimise harm associated with the sale of alcohol.
“The Commissioner has been provided with the ability to address ongoing problems, such as noise and disturbances, and we have strengthened the tests in determining suitability to hold a liquor license,” he said.
“Tasmania Police and the hospitality industry have both been consulted in relation to the amendments.”
AHA Tasmania general manager, Steve Old, said licensees would welcome the amendments.
“I think it’s just a reminder to them that they hold a very high obligation to make sure they do the right thing,” Old told the ABC.
“I am glad they’ve put in a change to say they can confiscate the ID or fake ID of younger kids cause I think the pressure’s on there all the time for licensees to make sure they can control that.”