By James Atkinson

An independent report on Tasmanian liquor licensing legislation has recommended stricter regulations and enforcement for the state's liquor licensees.

The Alcohol Legislative Scoping Study by Stenning and Associates was commissioned by the Inter Agency Working Group on Drugs (IAWGD), a cross-agency working group established to provide strategic policy advice and coordination of initiatives to deal with alcohol, tobacco and other drugs-related issues in Tasmania.

Released on May 10, the Stenning Report recommends changes to Tasmania's liquor licensing legislation to improve the way alcohol and alcohol-related harm are managed. 

It advocates the creation of new offences for licensees who breach their obligations under Division 5 of the Liquor Licensing Act, which broadly relate to responsible service of alcohol on the premises.

The report says this recommendation is in response to feedback from Tasmania Police that the Division 5 obligations are problematic because they are not immediately enforceable in the same manner as the offences listed in Division 6.

Stenning & Associates also recommends that Tasmania Police liaise more closely with local councils to assess whether alcohol restrictions should be introduced in problem areas.

The Licensing Act should be amended to provide the Commissioner for Licensing with the ability to proactively impose conditions on all types of liquor licence/permits at the time of issue, the report suggests.

Tasmania's Department of Treasury and Finance, which includes the state's Liquor and Gaming functions, is currently undertaking a review of the Liquor Licensing Act and will release a discussion paper for public comment in the second half of 2013.

The Stenning Report's 22 recommendations will be referenced in the discussion paper.

The Shout Team

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

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