This will be my last message to Queensland hoteliers. After working in the liquor and gaming regulatory space for over 26 years, I have decided the time has come to move on to other things.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working as a regulator in this industry. Over the years, I have seen it grow and prosper into one of Queensland’s most significant industries; although, unfortunately some smaller and regional venues do not appear to be sharing in those benefits.
Aside from the challenges of delivering product and services in a responsible manner to Queenslanders, I believe the immediate challenges facing the industry is the introduction and adoption of technology, and how this will be accommodated within the regulatory framework. What is clear is that there are very capable and innovative people in industry and in government who will work through those challenges for the benefit of Queensland as a whole.
I would genuinely like to thank those I have worked with – both in the hotel industry and in government - for the respect and goodwill they have shown me. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to continue to visit a few hotels, but solely to taste the fruits of your labour.
I would like to wish you all the best during this difficult period. I know it is a resilient industry and once COVID-19 is behind us, I know you will regroup and return to delivering first class hospitality.
False ID detected ahead of school leaver celebrations
While school leaver celebrations are looking a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still expected that many teenagers will be out celebrating the end of their schooling later this month.
Queensland school leaver celebrations are scheduled for 21 to 28 this November in popular areas such as the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and Airlie Beach. A recent easing of border restrictions means that teenagers from New South Wales may visit parts of Queensland in the following week.
Our compliance officers will still be active during this time with one area of focus being under 18’s in hotels.
Already the Queensland Police Service (QPS) has detected several false Western Australian drivers licences circulating around the Gold Coast area. These were identified as being fake as they had raised lettering/numbering, and/or laminate that was lifting.
Further investigations uncovered that the underage teenagers had purchased these licenses online and had already used them to buy alcohol from bottle shops, enter licensed venues and gamble.
It’s important that staff are active in checking ID (hard copy and digital) of any patron at the door and throughout the premises of anyone who appears to be under 25-years.
Here is what you do to ensure you don’t miss false hard copy ID:
- Ask the patron to remove ID (if in a wallet) and take the card to examine in a well-lit area.
- Feel around the photo, birth date and edges of the card, especially cards enclosed in plastic. Pay attention to anything unusual such as pin pricks, lifted laminate, laminate that’s thicker than usual, glued-on photographs, wrinkles, bumps or air bubbles.
- Check for smudges or blurring of the typed date of birth.
- Check the birth date on the ID and confirm the patron is over 18.
- Look at the photograph and ensure it matches the patron presenting the ID.
- Check the eye colour and height are correct, as on the ID.
- Note the built-in security features for each ID card.
- Verify the personal details by asking the person to state some details from the ID.
- Where necessary, ask the person to sign their name on a blank piece of paper which can then be compared with the signature on the ID.
- Be extra alert to ID marked as ‘duplicate’ or of a type you are less familiar with (e.g. foreign drivers licence).
To check a digital ID:
- Compare the photo with the person presenting the ID, ensuring they are the same.
- Check that the date of birth or age indicator confirms the person is over 18 years (some forms of ID can be issued to people under 18).
- Identify the security features of each type of ID (for example, shake to animate, QR code or refreshing of the security features) and use the appropriate verification techniques.
If you suspect a person’s hard copy ID is not genuine, you and your staff must confiscate that ID. You must not confiscate a device on which you suspect a false digital ID is used, but instead record the details of the false ID.
Download, complete and lodge an ID confiscation report to report false ID, be it hard copy or digital.
When you confiscate hard copy ID like a driver licence or proof-of-age card, send the confiscated ID and your completed form to OLGR.
More information on checking and confiscating ID can be found at www.business.qld.gov.au/liquor.
One-off extended trading hours permits
This is the time of year where some hotel licensees may start thinking about temporarily extending their trading hours for New Year celebrations.
All liquor licensees automatically have approval to trade to 2am in the early morning of New Year’s Day but any extended trading after 2am requires approval.
If you wish to apply for extended trading hours you must meet certain criteria. This includes that the application is made for parties (other than the licensee or owner of the licensed premises) who wish to celebrate a ‘special occasion’, as detailed in the Liquor Act 1992.
You must make your application for an extended hours permit at least 21 days before the day of the event and this requires endorsement from the Queensland Police Service.
Licensees can still apply for one-off extended trading hours for:
- Four dates in any twelve-month period for pre-10am trading.
- Six dates in a calendar year for trading between 12 midnight and 5am.
Please bear in mind that lodging an application does not guarantee it will be approved and licensees should take this into consideration before advertising events.
Working as one: Queensland Liquor Accords
Since the early 90s, liquor accords have played an important role in bridging the gap between licensees, regulatory bodies and community groups.
This year, the liquor and gaming industry has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. OLGR acknowledges the ongoing challenges faced by the industry and the important role accords will continue to play in enabling direct communication between licensees and government representatives.
With the further easing of restrictions, now more than ever, your local accord offers the perfect outlet to gather with your fellow licensees, share information, ask questions and discuss strategies to improve your business. Whether your venue is big or small, a late trader or early closer, being an active member of an accord is a great benefit to you, your staff and the community.
Accords are voluntary agreements between members of a local area who cooperate to develop safe and well-managed environments in and around licensed premises. Accord membership is mainly comprised of local liquor licensees with local and State Government representatives (including OLGR and Queensland Police) attending meetings and providing ongoing support.
The first Queensland accord started in Surfers Paradise in the early 1990s. It aimed to help licensees understand their obligations and responsibilities under the Act. The concept caught on quickly with accords being set up throughout the state.
Fast forward to 2020, there are now over 70 accords spread throughout Queensland, extending all the way from the great south-east to the Northern Peninsula.
If you’re already a member of an accord, then I encourage you to continue holding and attending meetings – in person or virtually.
If you’re not already a part of one, or you don’t know of an accord in your local area, then please contact your local OLGR office for more information. Liquor licensees, OLGR and other key stakeholders can all work together to develop an accord. OLGR provides a wealth of information online about accords, including how to start your own.