Liquor Guideline 60 has been out now in its present form for a number of years. Many licensees would understand that it has been expressly issued under Section 142ZZ(4) of the Liquor Act, and therefore must be taken as seriously as any other licensee obligation. It sets out in detail rules for practices and promotions involving liquor, including practices and promotions which are described as “unacceptable”.
Although we’re aware that OLGR has promoted the guideline through their usual communication channels – that is the Responsible Service newsletter and in discussions and communications with licensees at accord/SNP meetings and elsewhere – over the last few months two things have become increasingly apparent.
- There are lots of licensees who are not in fact aware of the extent of their obligations under Section 142ZZ and therefore the Guideline.
- OLGR compliance officers and Police have been questioning licensees regarding their management of their obligations, with a view to enforcement action if compliance cannot be demonstrated – so it’s becoming much more serious.
Whilst most licensees approach the conduct of their liquor promotions in a very responsible way, the main criticism we’re hearing is the absence of a management plan.
Guideline 60 states that certain practices and promotions:
are considered unacceptable … unless they are conducted in line with a documented management plan that includes harm minimisation measures to ensure stated negative outcomes (e.g. rapid or excessive consumption) do not occur and all staff are aware of such measures.
Some of the the practices and promotions which require a management plan are as innocuous as having a wine of the month or taking part in a supplier funded promotion, or a simple happy hour – practices most licensees would perhaps not consider to be risky. However, running these promotions without a documented management plan is potentially a breach of Section 142ZZ, which carries a maximum penalty of 100 penalty units or $13,055 (2018 penalty).
To help licensees avoid any negative compliance action, we have come up with a simple and effective service to develop a Guideline 60-compliant harm minimisation management plan for licensed premises. The service includes monthly email reminders for up to five members of staff at the premises to review promotions against the management plan, this also assists licensees to comply with the staff communication elements of the Guideline.
If you would like to find out more about this service, call our office on 07 3252 4066 or contact us through our website.