An approved manager must be present on licensed premises during trading hours. Every approved manager must have completed a course of training approved by the Director of Liquor Licensing. Currently, managers are only authorised to manage specified premises. An application must be made if that person wishes to manage another venue.
The current system is seen as restrictive and unnecessarily time consuming. Consequently, changes to the Liquor Control Act 1988 have recently been enacted to allow the licensing authority to alter the situation. The new framework will focus on the individual manager rather than the premises and will establish two categories of managers: ‘restricted’ and ‘unrestricted’.
Those persons managing a club, club restricted or occasional licence will only be required to have completed the Responsible Service of Alcohol course and will become a ‘restricted manager’.
Those persons managing any other kind of licence will need to have completed the full Course in Liquor Licensing and will become known as an ‘unrestricted manager’. Unrestricted managers will have the freedom to move between venues without prior approval from the licensing authority.
Managers who are already employed at licensed premises who have completed the Course in Liquor Licensing will automatically be approved as unrestricted managers. Those persons currently employed as managers who have only completed the Responsible Service of Alcohol course will be approved as restricted managers and only be able to manage premises holding club or club restricted licences.
The recent Auditor General report has also placed increased scrutiny on the training requirements of those employed in the industry in finding that ‘there are shortfalls in training and education requirements for licensees and their staff, so some may lack the skills and knowledge to operate licensed premises in accordance with the Act’. This finding has caused the licensing authority to consider introducing ‘refresher’ courses or implementing a scheme of ongoing training as is the case in other liquor licensing jurisdictions throughout Australia.
The licensing authority expects to introduce the restricted and unrestricted manager system in the coming few months and will continue investigating the possibility of introducing an ongoing training component as part of the mandatory training for managers.
Should you have any queries about this article, please do not hesitate to contact Dan Mossenson, Partner on (08) 9288 6769 / firstname.lastname@example.org or Alec Weston, Solicitor on (08) 9288 6873 / email@example.com.