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The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 came into force on 18 December 2013, replacing the Sale of Liquor Act 1989. The new Act has tighter controls on who can sell alcohol and how it is promoted. Communities or individuals are also able to object to the issuing or renewing of a licence, provided they have a greater interest in the application than the general public (for example, if they live close to a licenced premises).Factsheets about how the new law affects bars, clubs, restaurants and alcohol stores can be found on the Health Promotion Agency website.Some of these changes include:
The Act allows local government to develop local alcohol policies (LAPs). LAPs are a set of decisions made in consultation with the community within a geographical area about the sale and supply of alcohol.Licensing bodies will consider LAPs when they make decisions on licence applications. A draft Local Alcohol Policy is currently being developed and will be advertised for public comment.
The District Licensing Committee (DLC) is a local judicial body made up of community representatives and led by a Commissioner. This gives local communities more say in alcohol licensing decisions. The District Licensing Committee comprises Stuart Hylton (Commissioner), Cr Hamish McDouall (Deputy Chair), Cr Phillipa Baker-Hogan, Rob Moore, John Maihi and Nicki Higgie.
Issuing licences, monitoring compliance and enforcing action when necessary creates costs for local councils, which administer much of the licensing system.
Under the Act, licenced premises are now required to pay an annual fee and a renewal fee. The annual fees are payable on the anniversary date of the licence every year. A new licence is granted for one year initially and then after that the licence is renewed every three years.
Under the new Act, a ‘club manager’s certificate’ no longer exists. It has been replaced by a ‘manager’s certificate’, and the manager must be the holder of a Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ). However, club manager’s certificates issued before 18 December 2013 will be granted, for a limited period only, under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989.Similarly, existing club managers applying for a renewal on the expiry date of their certificate may be issued a ‘limited renewal’ certificate, valid for one year. That year will give a manager time to obtain a LCQ, through private accredited training providers.Don’t leave obtaining an LCQ until the last minute. You can get an LCQ from training organisations on online by visiting the HSI website.