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​Further inspections planned after snowy licensed venue checks detect serious

Thursday 23 July 2015       [PDF,154kb]

The Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing (OLGR) will conduct more inspections of licensed venues across the Snowy Mountains region during the winter ski season after a first phase of compliance checks detected a range of serious breaches.

Licensed venues across the Snowy region have been warned to lift their game after 12 breaches relating to intoxication and non-compliance with licence conditions were uncovered during inspections in Jindabyne, Perisher and Thredbo between 14 and 19 July.

OLGR Director of Compliance and Enforcement Anthony Keon said the operation showed a lax attitude by many venues in assessing and removing intoxicated patrons and that too many staff and security were unaware of their venue’s licence conditions.

"Intoxicated patrons must be cut off and removed from the venue when detected – this is the law and every Snowy venue needs to follow it or face serious penalties," Mr Keon said.

"Intoxication in licensed venues is against the law because it leads to potentially serious consequences, including increased risks of alcohol-related violence as well as other harms. Statistics show that assault rates in the Snowy region increase markedly during the winter ski season - which is exactly what we are trying to prevent.

"It is extremely disappointing that, despite OLGR engaging with Snowy licensees prior to this compliance operation and forewarning them about requirements, breaches and poor controls were still detected across a range of venues."

OLGR’s inquiries are continuing into detected breaches prior to regulatory action being undertaken, and compliance inspections will now be conducted throughout the entire winter season. Venues are again warned to be vigilant about not allowing intoxication and ensuring staff are aware of and abide by licence conditions.

Venue inspections will focus on patron behaviour and intoxication levels, compliance with licence conditions, responsible service of alcohol (RSA) and responsible conduct of gambling (RCG) staff accreditation, undesirable liquor promotions and activities, and prevention of alcohol sales to minors.

What the OLGR operation detected

  • Four intoxication-related offences were detected at two separate venues in Jindabyne. One venue permitted intoxication twice in three days which could result in two strikes under the Three Strikes disciplinary scheme.
  • At one Jindabyne venue, inspectors observed an intoxicated person being threatened to be ‘cut off’ by venue staff and provided water, but two minutes later was served a Jägerbomb shot, and then two minutes later he was cut off again and then removed for intoxication.
  • Intoxication was a particular problem in Jindabyne where inspections found security and staff often failing to properly assess intoxication levels. One Jindabyne security guard advised she was instructed not to remove intoxicated patrons until advised by bar staff. Numerous venues provided water to intoxicated patrons but did not ask them to leave the premises immediately as required by the law.
  • At Thredbo, illicit drugs were suspected of being taken in the female bathroom at one venue, and an intoxicated woman was observed vomiting.
  • Numerous breaches of venue licence conditions were detected relating to security patrol requirements and maintenance of incident registers.
  • Many venue staff did not understand their licence conditions and were subsequently breaching them, with most relating to security patrol requirements. At one venue, two security guards were required but no patrols were conducted on one night and then only guard deployed on a second night despite the earlier breach.
  • Other licence condition breaches included a Jindabyne venue not recording the correct number of patron counts in a register, and another venue failing to meet a CCTV requirement for patrons to remove headwear when entering the premises.