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Message from the President - December 16, 2016

Posted on 16 December 2016

From February 2017, the Queensland lockout laws will come into full effect and it is important that affected businesses are aware of their new responsibilities, as there are harsh penalties for breaches.

The Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce has previously voiced its opposition to these laws on the basis that they will hurt the Gold Coast's nighttime economy without enough evidence that they will improve safety.

The new laws have been in place since 1 July, but the lockout time will soon move two hours earlier, from 3am to 1am even within the safe night precincts - and this is when we will see the true cost of these new laws.

The fight against the unfair laws will continue, but as it does it is imperative for business owners to educate themselves on their responsibilities.

To help, Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce secretary Andrew Shields, special counsel at Nyst Lawyers, has provided a list of five things you must know about the new laws.

1. What happens after 12am?
As soon as your watch, IPhone or the big clock above the bar hits 12am you won't be able to buy (or serve) 'rapid intoxication shots', which are defined as drinks that are designed to be consumed rapidly or contain a high percentage of alcohol and are prescribed by regulation. Rapid Intoxication Shots include:
Any shots (shooters, bomb, blaster or test tubes);
A drink with more than 45ml of spirits or liqueur;
A jelly shot; or
A pre-mixed drink with an alcohol volume of more than 5% or more than two standard drinks.

Cocktails are exempt from the ban on rapid intoxication drinks provided the cocktail:
Is listed on a cocktail menu, which is displayed on the premises;
Price is listed on the cocktail menu;
Is not sold for less after 12pm than the amount specified on the cocktail menu; and
Is not designed for rapid consumption.

The penalty for selling rapid intoxication drinks after 12pm is $12,190.00!

2. Lock out Restrictions
Currently, lock out laws apply in Queensland from 3am. On 1 February 2017, the lock out time will change to 1am in all safe night precincts. This means that if a person leaves your venue after 1am they will not be permitted to re-enter the venue until 3am. After 3am they can enter a venue to purchase food, non-alcoholic drinks or to join in entertainment or authorized gambling.

3. Lock out exemptions
Lock out provisions do not apply to:
Licensed premises in airports, casinos and industrial canteens; and
Premises within a 3am safe night precinct where trading between 1am and 3am is under an extended trading hours permit.

4. Investigations and Prosecutions
Where you are being investigated for a possible breach of the Liquor Act:
a. An investigator can require a person to produce documents that are relevant to the administration and enforcement of the Liquor Act; and
b. The results of a breath test analysis are admissible as evidence in prosecutions against a licensee where there is other evidence to suggest a licensee may have committed an offence.

5. Where is the Surfers Paradise Safe Night Precinct?
You can view the map which details the boundary of the safe night precinct for Surfers Paradise, via the State Government website here.

The Chamber is continuing to work with the State Government on liquor licensing laws, as well as on a number of other issues:
o    changes to Bikie Laws;
o    several development projects including a Master Plan for the Spit;
o    Light Rail Stage 2; and
o    NBN upgrades across the Gold Coast.

It's been a big year that has included the election of a fresh-faced Chamber board, but in doing so we farewelled former President Peter Yared who brought a strong presence to the role.

We also said goodbye to Roger Mayfield after 13 years' tireless service in Secretary and Treasurer roles at the Chamber and its constituent Chambers, and elected Andrew Shields has stepped up as his replacement as secretary.

Despite the loss of such talented and dedicated leaders, the Chamber will continue to strengthen, as it has done through 2016, when we saw growing membership and well attended events.

The Commonwealth games are now a year closer and we look forward to the estimated $2 Billion being projected into the Gold Coast economy during this time.

To all Chamber members, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017 will be an exciting year for business on the Gold Coast.

Martin Hall
Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce




PO Box 3918, Robina Town Centre, Gold Coast 4230