Australia: Report into Alcohol Related Violence

On 18 March 2010, Queensland Parliament's Law, Justice and Safety Committee (Committee) tabled its report into alcohol related violence in Queensland. The Committee made 68 separate recommendations to the Queensland Government that have the potential to dramatically change the landscape of Queensland's liquor industry in the short to medium future as these recommended measures are implemented.

Given the bipartisan nature of the Committee, many of its recommendations are likely to find their way into legislation.

Some of the Committee's key recommendations include:

  • that standard on-premises trading hours be 10am to midnight
  • that a 2am lockout apply to all licensed venues
  • extended trading hours for venues outside special entertainment precincts be no later than 1am Sundays to Thursdays and no later than 3am Fridays and Saturdays
  • extended trading hours for venues in special entertainment precincts to be no later than 2am Sundays to Thursdays and no later than 4am Fridays and Saturdays
  • that the Queensland Government ban bottle shops from advertising discounted liquor prices in Queensland
  • that the Queensland Government provide the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation with additional resources to allow officers to carry out their enforcement roles
  • that the Criminal Code be amended so that use of glass as a weapon in an assault be a circumstance of aggravation in assault offences
  • that the sentencing ranges for alcohol-related offences be increased
  • that licensees trading after midnight be encouraged to install ID scanning systems at venues
  • that the Government ensure that necessary legislative or enforcement steps are taken to address issues of premises with restaurant licences trading as nightclubs
  • that the parents or guardians of a minor up to age 16 fined for an alcohol-related offence also be liable for that fine
  • that young people aged 16 and over, who receive a fine for alcohol-related offences, remain liable for that fine after attaining the age of 18. This should have adverse consequences, such as the inability to obtain a drivers licence, should it remain unpaid at the time of application for such a licence.

There has been a substantial amount of media coverage in relation to the recommendations, with most attention being focussed on the proposed change in trading hours.

The Queensland Courier Mail has established an on-line survey regarding the Committee's recommendation and it appears that more than 80% of participants were opposed to the proposed shorter trading hours. Some sectors of the hospitality industry assert that there is a lack of data linking late night trading to alcohol-related violence and suggesting that alcohol-related violence should be addressed by ensuring that there is a larger number of visible police on the streets and tougher penalties for those that breach the law.

The Queensland Hotels Association has criticised the Committee's report as suffering from a lack of perspective as it states that the Committee's recommendations are oriented towards and targeted against, late night, high licensed density, entertainment precincts such as Surfers Paradise and Fortitude Valley and do not take into account the 900 low risk hotel operations throughout the State or many of the thousands of other low risk or no risk licensed businesses. Indeed, there has been similar criticism by other sectors of the industry having concern of a "one size fits all" approach to the State's licensing laws.

The recommendation to ban bottle shops from advertising discounted liquor in Queensland may contravene the provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

The Committee noted that there are currently restrictions on alcohol promotions outside licensed venues but such restrictions do not apply to bottle shops that can advertise outside their premises, in the print media and all other social media, including cinemas, telephone and radio.

One recommendation that seems to have escaped attention by the press is the Committee's recommendation that there be legislative amendments to ensure a greater emphasis on committee consultation and that public conferences now be made mandatory as part of the process in considering applications for all licences under the Liquor Act 1992 (the Act) where an objection to an application has been made.

The third recommendation that the Committee has made in relation to the licensing process recommends that a definition of "amenity" be included in the Act when referring to elements such as noise, transport, nuisance and lifestyle. Historically, the fundamental test for obtaining a licence was one of establishing sufficient "public need" for a licence. Changes made as a result of the National Competition Policy saw that test change from one of public need to public interest thereby liberalising alcohol availability so that the number and type of alcohol outlets were determined by market demand rather than the primary consideration of potential impact on local communities, health, economy and amenity. More recently that test has changed to one of "community interest" which did little to change the status quo. However, the Committee purports the findings of the National Preventative Health Taskforce that have been working towards exempting liquor control legislation from requirements of the National Competition Policy. Should this occur, arguments concerning convenience and choice in relation to the availability of liquor in a community will be superseded by arguments focussing on the potential to increase alcohol-related problems within a community. Amendments to the Act to include a definition of what constitutes the "amenity" of a community may have far reaching implications in relation to the ability of obtaining a liquor licence in Queensland in the future.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.