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The new lockout restrictions for 3am Safe Night Precincts in Queensland are due to come into effect from 1 February 2017.
As we have previously reported, July 2016 saw the passing of the Tackling Alcohol-fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Act 2016 (Qld) ("the Act") the main purpose of which was to reduce extended trading hours for most licensed premises, amend the existing lockout provisions under the Liquor Act and introduce the concept of ‘3am Safe Night Precincts’.
These changes saw a number of the existing Safe Night Precinct boards vote to be declared ‘3am Safe Night Precincts’. Once declared, any venue within the 3am Safe Night Precinct that was approved for liquor trading until 3am or later was automatically approved to sell or supply liquor from 3am from 1 July 2016. If a venue wishes to extend its trading hours up to 3am it is required to apply to the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation for extended trade.
Only venues within a 3am Safe Night Precinct are authorised to sell or supply liquor past 2am. Venues within a 3am Safe Night Precinct can remain open past 3am to serve food, non-alcoholic beverages and to provide entertainment. There is a 30 minute grace period after last drinks are called during which time patrons can finish their beverages.
A further change under the amendments is the introduction of new lockout restrictions which are applicable to licensed venues located within 3am Safe Night Precincts.
From 1 February 2017 Safe Night Precincts will fall under 2 categories:
3am Safe Night Precincts – within which licensed venues are authorised to sell or supply liquor up to 3am but will be subject to a 1am lock out; and
Safe Night Precincts – which have not been declared 3am Precincts and within which licensed venues are authorised to sell or supply liquor up to 2am only but with no lockout.
This means that patrons will not be able to enter any licensed premises in a 3am Safe Night Precinct between 1am and 3am.
The following venues fall under the first category of 3am Safe Night Precincts to which the 1am lockout restriction will apply:
Sunshine Coast (Caloundra, Maroochydore and Mooloolaba)
Fortitude Valley CBD
Surfers Paradise CBD.
The lockout will not apply to casinos, licensed premises in airports, premises located outside a 3am Safe Night Precinct and premises within a 3am Safe Night Precinct trading between 1am and 3am under an extended trading hours permit.
The following venues fall under the second category of Safe Night Precincts which did not elect to be 3am Safe Night Precincts and which, from 1 February 2017, will be required to cease liquor trading at 2am with no lockout:
Inner West Brisbane (including Caxton Street).
Licensees who operate within the 3am Safe Night Precincts need to be aware of the changes coming into effect in February 2017 and have the appropriate measures in place to ensure the lockout is adhered to. This includes placing relevant signage throughout the licensed venue, copies of which can be obtained through the OLGR. Failure to comply with the lockout period could result in severe penalties to Licensees.
Should you have any queries, or require any specific advice in relation to your venue, please contact Tom Young on (07) 3414 2845.
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