Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Renewal of Licences) Amendment Bill

  • discharged on 14 February 2018

Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Renewal of Licences) Amendment Bill

Member’s Bill

10—1

Explanatory note

General policy statement

This Bill provides that where a local alcohol policy is in place under the provisions of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 any renewal of a licence under the Act must not be inconsistent with the provisions of that local alcohol policy.

The process of adopting a local alcohol policy is a consultative process that provides for community input in respect of numbers of licences issued in an community, the location of premises and their proximity to other facilities identified by the Council. Examples have been schools, early childhood education centres, places of worship and public services.

The object of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 is contained in section 4 and is that both the sale, supply, and consumption of alcohol should be undertaken safely and responsibly, and the harm caused by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol should be minimised. That harm includes—

  • any crime, damage, death, disease, disorderly behaviour, illness, or injury, directly or indirectly caused, or directly or indirectly contributed to, by excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol, and

  • any harm to society generally or the community, directly or indirectly caused, or directly or indirectly contributed to, by any crime, damage, death, disease, disorderly behaviour, illness, or injury.

The aim of this Bill is to allow the Act to meet its stated object.

That alcohol causes harm to society or the community is a given and the only effective tool offered to communities to control that harm is the local alcohol policy process. Section 78 of the Act requires Councils, in drafting a local alcohol policy, to have regard to the demography of the district’s residents, the health indicators of the residents and the nature and severity of alcohol related problems in the district. The main concerns expressed by communities are the proliferation of liquor outlets and their proximity to sensitive facilities such as schools and early childhood education centres.

There is no rational base on which existing off-licence renewals should not be assessed against a local alcohol policy that has been through a rigorous process that takes specific account of the harm caused directly or indirectly to the community by alcohol. To not assess existing off-licence renewals against local alcohol policies concerning density and location is to render the basis of a local alcohol policy nugatory and to ignore that existing outlets may have contributed to the identification of areas in a local alcohol policy where there is excessive harm caused by alcohol consumption to the community. For those matters not concerning location and density, conditions can be imposed to bring the operation of a licence into conformity with a local alcohol policy, that is trading hours, particular licences and one-way door restrictions.

Clause by clause analysis

Clause 1 is the Title clause.

Clause 2 provides for the Bill to come into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

Clause 3 states that the Bill amends the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (the Act).

Clause 4 states that the purpose of the Bill is to amend the Act to ensure that a decision on the renewal of an existing licence considers matters in a local alcohol policy, that has been adopted or is in force, that relates to location and density.

Clause 5 replaces section 133.

Clause 6 amends section 135.