Liquor licensing


Mr DULUK (Waite) Second Reading

Adjourned debate on second reading.

(Continued from 31 July 2019.)

Mr DULUK (Waite) (15:43): I rise to speak briefly on the Liquor Licensing (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill to add a few words and a small contribution on this matter. Back in 2016, His Honour Tim Anderson QC began a review into liquor licensing in South Australia. About 129 recommendations were put forward in the review. Some three or almost four years later, we are dealing with the tail end, some rats and mice issues and some legacy issues from that review.

We are looking at a new structure going forward in the way liquor licensing is managed in South Australia, and it is important that we get this right. The hospitality industry is such an important employer of South Australians and makes a huge economic contribution. Whether it be pubs, clubs, late-night venues, hotels or restaurants, the visitor economy is a huge part of the broader South Australian economy. We really need to support those who support this fantastic industry, in my view.

As I said, there were 129 recommendations from the initial Anderson review. One of the broad measures or concerns back then—and still for many, including me—is the amount of regulation and red tape which is associated with the industry and which goes to licence holders. The review has obviously been completed but, as the legislation passes through this parliament and the work of the commission filters into the broader sector, the red tape and many of these regulations and things that were restrictive and burdensome can be removed for licence holders.

We want to ensure that we have a fantastic nightlife economy in South Australia and that we provide night-time safety for many people who frequent Adelaide's small bars, pubs and nightclubs. The laws governing liquor licensing and licensed premises should help facilitate growing businesses and not restrict patrons or licensees. We want to promote South Australia, especially in the area of tourism and the businesses that flow on from that, and show that our state is indeed a vibrant place to live, work and visit. I believe that many measures in the bill, and more broadly many of the recommendations from the Anderson review, assist in that process.

At the time of the review there were several key aims, and some of them were looking at assessing the adequacy, effectiveness and relevance of the licensing regime, identifying improvements to modernise the licensing regime and reflect current day community standards. Over time, standards in the community and the way that we consume alcohol and interact in licensed venues has certainly changed. If you go back a generation, larger pubs and clubs were the norm, especially for night-time hospitality, but we see today in 2019 that the prevalence of small bars and that sort of licensing issue is de jour at the moment.

Of course, I heard on radio this morning that Councillor Franz Knoll from the Adelaide city council is looking at a review, and I think that there is a motion before the Adelaide city council tonight to look at some of the smoking laws on Hindley Street and how they relate to some of the shisha shops that operate on Hindley Street. We are constantly looking at reviewing the way we licence entertainment precincts, as I said, reflecting current day community attitudes, promoting greater business flexibility and encouraging new, bold and dynamic business models.

The recent review of liquor licensing in South Australia recommended sweeping changes to licensing fees through the introduction of a risk-based model. The new fees will come into effect for new licences from November this year. Existing licensees transitioning to the new system will not be affected by the fee change until licences are renewed in mid 2020.

The fees under this model are calculated based on a number of factors, including licence class capacity, trading hours, high-risk activities, high-risk locations, sale of liquor for consumption off premises and event endorsement. The current licensing system will be reduced from 12 to eight categories. More broadly, these categories are general and hotel, on premise, restaurant and catering, residential, club, small venue, liquor production and sales and packaged liquor sales.

Small venues have previously been given a reduced licence fee, and going forward there will be a new $425 base fee, which will reflect the development of small venues in our state, especially in what are deemed to be high-risk precincts, such as, I am guessing, Hindley Street, and align their fees with other similar venues across South Australia. The bill in many respects allows the small bar industry to continue to grow and, of course, maintains guidelines and safety for patrons, encouraging a safe and social night-time culture.

The bill is also looking at fees in regard to our clubs. A fee will not be applied to existing clubs as it is only for the sale of liquor to the public for consumption. Once the legislative changes are fully operational, clubs will be able to apply for an authorisation to sell liquor to the public for consumption. Only then will the consumption off premises risk fee apply to that club. Also, venues that have gaming machines will not be charging a gaming risk fee.

If I can just get back to the small licence fee and where we see nightlife in South Australia, over the weekend and in the preceding weeks in New South Wales there has been a debate about the late night code and also what are commonly known as lockout laws. It is very interesting to see that in New South Wales, in Sydney in particular, the Berejiklian government is looking to scrap the lockout laws through metropolitan Sydney, except for the Darlinghurst area. Obviously, we have essentially a lockout regime here in South Australia, and I hope that, once Anderson is bedded down and this review is bedded down, we can come back and revisit this issue in South Australia.

Recently, someone recounted a story to me that they were out a few Saturday nights ago enjoying themselves at a venue when all of a sudden it hit 2am and the venue was closed. This person and her friends spilled out onto Hindley Street and were all looking for a cab at the one moment. This was similar with all the other clubs on Hindley Street on that particular night.

One of the issues that we are seeing with the lockout regime at the moment is the way that clubs and night venues cease trading at a particular time. There is an influx of individuals at one point, by and large well-behaved patrons, looking for a taxi or an Uber to get home. I think that is one of the unintended consequences of lockout laws at the moment. More broadly, there is an issue of choice as well, in terms of whether citizens have the right to regulate their own behaviour to the extent that it does not impinge on the rights of other individuals.

The hospitality industry, which obviously the bill before us looks to promote, regulates and licences, creates a fantastic avenue of employment for so many South Australians. More importantly, it is not just what the hospitality industry does for general employment but what organisations such as the AHA do in terms of training and apprenticeships. I know this government has a huge program to promote apprentices and apprenticeships in South Australia in all industries, whether it be shipbuilding, racing or the hospitality and catering industry. The role that our TAFEs and other training providers play in this industry is very important.

It is a great employer of young people as well. A legacy issue of 16 years of hard Labor is many young people leaving South Australia. I know that creating the right nightlife environments in the city is playing its bit to ensure that Adelaide remains a top 10 most livable city in the world. In June this year, the Australian Hotels Association had its awards for excellence in the South Australian hotel industry. I would like to recognise some fantastic venues for winning awards.

These include The Crafers Hotel, which shares a common border with my electorate and my colleague the member for Heysen's electorate. It is a fantastic establishment. It is a great common border and a great hotel up there in Crafers, which was recognised as the Best Overall Hotel in South Australia for the second year in a row. Mount Lofty House, which I believe is in the member for Heysen's electorate—

Mr Teague: Almost.

Mr DULUK: Almost. It is in the member for Bragg's electorate. Mount Lofty House received two awards: Best Deluxe Accommodation and Best Restaurant in the accommodation division. The Uraidla Hotel is definitely in the member for Kavel's electorate—

The Hon. V.A. Chapman: No, it's not. It's actually in Morialta.

Mr DULUK: —in the member for Morialta's electorate. It is all the fantastic pubs in the Hills that are doing very well. The Uraidla Hotel won the award for Environmental and Energy Efficiency Practice. Electra House, in the member for Adelaide's electorate, won Best Restaurant in the general division and also Recent Refurbishment of a Hotel. Some of the other winners include The Innamincka Hotel for Best Tourism and Regional Promotion and Sparkke at the Whitmore, which won Best Redevelopment Hotel. As we are trying to encourage business in South Australia, it is so important to provide the right framework for publicans, business owners or entrepreneurs to redevelop, and for the adaptive re-use of old buildings.

Certainly, the project at the Whitmore is one of those great adaptive re-use projects where an old pub that has been sitting idle for many years has had an investment to rejuvenate it. It certainly has had a change of clientele, and I believe it does a little bit of microbrewing on site as well. They have their own label of ales and the like. That is the type of investment in South Australia that we need in the hospitality region.

Another winner from the AHA awards, for boutique superior hotel accommodation was the Stirling Hotel, very much in the member for Heysen's electorate as well. East End Cellars won the award for best casual dining room.

Mr Pederick: Michael Andrew Arthur.

Mr DULUK: Michael Andrew Arthur.

Mr Pederick: I went to school with him.

Mr DULUK: He went to school with the member for Hammond and is a constituent of mine. Of course, the Earl of Leicester, which is another fantastic hotel, won the judges commendation. The Torrens Arms Hotel, which is in my electorate, won the judges commendation for bistro/casual dining. Right across Adelaide, Greater Adelaide and South Australia, the hotel industry provides a wonderful outlet for South Australians to enjoy themselves and be fed and watered. It is also a great place to employ South Australians, to create jobs and to train our next generation of people in the hospitality industry. To that end, South Australia's hospitality and bar scenes have evolved and grown in the past few years. We want to see that continued growth in our nightlife, in creating jobs as well as supporting local businesses and the hospitality industry more broadly. The government is committed to ensuring that the liquor industry regulations are undertaken in the most efficient and effective manner, prompting growth and sustainability while also minimising any potential harm that could result from the misuse of alcohol and, indeed, gaming. The changes that we are debating in the parliament this week will benefit the industry through smarter regulation, and I think that is good news for South Australian businesses.