Substantial changes to the Liquor Control Act were passed on 25 November 2010. Some of those changes came into operation on 17 January 2011. One significant change from a licensee perspective now in operation is the introduction of barring notices.
Barring notices are essentially a more flexible form of a prohibition order. They too are aimed at minimising antisocial behaviour associated with licensed premises.
A barring notice can be issued by the Commissioner of Police or his delegate down to the level of inspector. The notice prohibits a person from entering specified licensed premises, or a specified class of licensed premises, if the Commissioner believes, on reasonable grounds, that the person has done the following on licensed premises:
Barring notices cannot be issued for longer than 12 months and are reviewable upon application to the Liquor Commission if the person is barred for longer than one month.
The details of persons that are the subject of a notice are to be published on a secure website, accessible only to licensees and managers.
There are two important distinctions between prohibition orders and barring notices that licensees should be aware of. Firstly, a person the subject of a barring notice can enter licensed premises from which they are banned if the person enters the premises solely for the purpose of performing duties relating to a person’s work, unlike a person the subject of a prohibition order. Secondly, and more importantly for licensees, unlike the situation with prohibition orders, it is an offence for licensees to knowingly allow a person banned from its premises (or its type of premises) to enter or remain on the premises.
The penalty for contravening a barring notice is a fine of up to $10,000.
The introduction of the amendments also brings with it a new class of licence known as a ‘tavern restricted licence’. A tavern restricted licence is a tavern licence without a packaged liquor component.
The other amendments to the Liquor Control Act are expected to come into operation later this year. The much anticipated amendments to the system of approved managers is likely to be introduced in the first half of 2011 and the introduction of ‘liquor restricted premises’ should take place in the second half of 2011.
If you have any other queries about applying for a tavern restricted licence or your responsibilities in relation to barring notices, please do not hesitate to contact Dan Mossenson, Partner on (08) 9288 6769 / email@example.com or Alec Weston, Solicitor on (08) 9288 6873 / firstname.lastname@example.org.