Along with the controversial restrictions on 48 licensed
premises announced by Premier Nathan Rees on 30 October last year
(discussed in our November update -
click here to read), was the suggestion of a longer term
solution to the problem of alcohol related violence.
The government has now released a discussion paper in relation
to the introduction of a safety rating which is open for public
comment until March 31.
The rationale behind a ratings system is that it will enable
safe venues to be recognised and rewarded with a high safety
rating, which will make these venues more attractive to consumers
and potentially increase the patronage of these venues. Venues will
have an incentive to increase safety performance in order to
The 2am lockout and other restrictions on specific premises were
only ever intended as a "quick fix" measure to the
apparently urgently pressing problem of alcohol related violence,
with better long term measures promised in the future. The Premier
introduced the measures in a knee-jerk reaction to anti-hotel hype
generated by tabloid newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph. When
the legality of the restrictions were challenged in the Supreme
Court by a number of premises, several of whom were represented by
gadens lawyers, the Premier was able to avoid the
proceedings and legal challenge by pushing new restrictive laws
In a welcome sign, the discussion paper concedes that a
voluntary, non-statutory scheme, is preferable to the imposition of
restrictive licensing conditions on businesses that may compromise
loans or the ability to obtain loans, damage business reputations
and may result in a criminal record for non-compliance.
It is hoped that the introduction of a rating system will
replace the existing restrictions and will be a much fairer and
more sensible approach to tackling the issue of alcohol related
It seems likely that participation in a ratings system will be
compulsory for high risk venues such as hotels and nightclubs, but
may be voluntary for other licensed premises such as
Display of ratings is likely to be made mandatory, which could
mean that the rating of a premises may have significant impacts on
the profitability or otherwise of the business, depending on
whether a poor rating does in fact act as a deterrent for potential
The types of matters that are suggested by the discussion paper
as potentially relevant to an assessment of safety ranking
venue entry and exit, including lighting and visibility inside
the venue and at entry and exit points
ease of movement through the venue
maintenance of the venue
security measures including CCTV and adequate security and
staff and management attitudes to patron safety, training and
knowledge of regulatory requirements
use of non-breakable drinkware during designated periods
public transport services
safety measures relating to amenities including toilets, public
telephones, and parking
responsible service of alcohol, drink spiking prevention and
other safety initiatives
workplace health and safety
responsible advertising and promotions
useful, accurate and informative signage
management planning for special events
Liquor Accord participation
history of alcohol-related violence
policies in place to contain and deal with any violence that
does occur on or near the venue, including reporting to
Different criteria may apply for different sized venues.
The discussion paper calls for comments on many aspects of the
proposed safety ratings system and provides an important
opportunity for stakeholders to have a say in relation to what
could potentially be a very significant reform of the liquor
t (02) 9931 4867
t (02) 9931 4701
t (03) 9612 8411
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 Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Long experience representing many of Australia's leading employers has taught us that in employment litigation the identity of an employee's representative is a major factor in how employee litigation runs.
Treasurer Scott Morrison recently announced changes to a number of 2016 Budget superannuation contribution measures.
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”
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).