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AHA plays the grinch to BAMOASD joy

By 8 February 2013 13

The Australian Hotels Association has a long history of trying to force Australians into a small number of horrible booze barns owned by their mates.

So it’s not surprise they’re bellyaching about Beer And Meat On A Stick Day:

Industry has expressed concerns about the double-standards being applied to the service of alcohol at Canberra’s National Multicultural Festival this weekend, the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) ACT Branch said today.

The AHA-ACT understands not-for-profit groups have been exempted from strict Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) standards by regulators during the festival – which runs from February 8-10 – while staff at Civic-based licensed venues must undergo training and have RSA certificates.

AHA-ACT General Manager Brad Watts said these “double-standards” were disappointing, especially as RSA is a vital component of ensuring patrons enjoy a safe and enjoyable environment in licensed venues.

“It’s pretty hard to swallow where there are two separate standards for alcohol responsibility in Canberra – one lenient standard for community groups operating under ‘non-commercial’ liquor permits and one very strict standard for industry,” Mr Watts said.

“The festival should be alcohol free if they can’t satisfy the same requirements as all licensees.

“Industry is committed to upholding RSA standards in licensed venues. But it’s disappointed the Office of Regulatory Services (ORS) has adopted an unbalanced approach, especially when the ORS has been recently conducting a recent blitz on RSA compliance in licensed venues across Canberra.

“Industry wants the same standards applied for the service of all alcohol in Canberra, especially to ensure the safety of people enjoying festivities in Civic. We support festivals that bring tourists to Canberra – but industry does not support an unbalanced approach to alcohol service.”

Mr Watts said under these different standards, AHA ACT members were concerned that patrons consuming alcohol at the festival could impact on licensed venues.

“Licensed venues should not be burdened with RSA issues of patrons coming into venues after the festival has finished,” Mr Watts said.

Recent ACT Policing statistics show there was a 6.9 per cent fall in alcohol-related incidents in licensed venues in Canberra last financial year.

My heart weeps for them.

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13 Responses to AHA plays the grinch to BAMOASD joy
#1
arescarti424:45 pm, 08 Feb 13

This doesn’t make a lot of sense.

AFAIK, the purpose of the RSA is to help prevent under age drinking and alcohol intoxication and the associated behaviour.

The multicultural festival is a family event, and has a very visible police presence, which would suggest the likelihood of under age drinking and alcohol intoxication by participants is minimal (compared to say, a licenced venue where people go for the specific purpose of under age drinking and getting intoxicated).

The fact that in the past the multicultural festival has, to my knowledge, always been fairly incident free, supports this.

#2
Matt_Watts5:03 pm, 08 Feb 13

Answer is to relax all RSA laws slightly, not to make not-for-profit organisations comply with the same laws the AHA is against. (No relation, either, although l met Brad once and he seemed a nice person.)

#3
BelcoMan5:06 pm, 08 Feb 13

“Incident free” – I’m afraid not.

I have to agree with the sentiments of the AHA. The “Community Groups” that attend this event are farsical in that they have people representing countries that have no links to them yet they attend this Festival with the sole purpose of making money via Food and drink sales whilst sitting in a Govt subsidised tent!

It was only a couple of years ago that one of teh vendors went up to the Minister at about 11pm and said “thanks mate, I have just made over $15,000 for my family”. I mean seriously the criteria for this festival needs a shake up.

Having said that, man I love that food……….

#4
johnboy5:06 pm, 08 Feb 13

Or to accept there’s a fundamental difference from community groups having some fun and business wholly devoted to selling grog.

#5
Matt_Watts5:10 pm, 08 Feb 13

johnboy said :

Or to accept there’s a fundamental difference from community groups having some fun and business wholly devoted to selling grog.

Nah, whilst there is a difference, my way is better :)

#6
poetix5:21 pm, 08 Feb 13

BelcoMan said :

I have to agree with the sentiments of the AHA. The “Community Groups” that attend this event are farsical in that they have people representing countries that have no links to them yet they attend this Festival with the sole purpose of making money via Food and drink sales whilst sitting in a Govt subsidised tent!
…….

Well, if the beer tents have signs in Farsi you might indeed have a point…

#7
Diggety5:43 pm, 08 Feb 13

Matt_Watts said :

Answer is to relax all RSA laws slightly, not to make not-for-profit organisations comply with the same laws the AHA is against. (No relation, either, although l met Brad once and he seemed a nice person.)

+1.

Should help small pubs flourish too.

#8
bundah5:56 pm, 08 Feb 13

So the AHA is concerned about patrons coming into venues after the festival? That’s hilarious and total nonsense given a very substantial proportion of young patrons get shitefaced at home before venturing out so a festival is going to make a difference,precisely how?

#9
cranky6:47 pm, 08 Feb 13

And the AHA have a flawless record in RSA. Pulleeeaaase>

#10
aussielyn9:03 pm, 08 Feb 13

Brad Watts from AHA needs to lift his profile if he wants to get Liberal pre-selection to follow his AHA predecessor, Richard Mulcahy AKA Vlad the Impaler, into the ACT Assembly. A good self-publicist can get himself noticed if his press release does the rounds.
Brad also needs to differentiate himself from Matt, who was an un-successful candidate for the senate and the ACT LA.
Community group volunteers providing food and drink are not professionals. They are providing free labour to an organisation they support. The food inspectors & ORS officers police the event so that problems are picked up. If found to not comply they can be shut down and not given a permit the following year. These community groups are dependent on the multi-cultural festival to keep them going.
I am sure many licenced premises have to deal with patrons who are intoxicated when they front up. Blaming RSA non-compliance on community group permit holders has no basis. The licenced premises can always refuse entry.

#11
BelcoMan10:31 pm, 08 Feb 13

poetix said :

BelcoMan said :

I have to agree with the sentiments of the AHA. The “Community Groups” that attend this event are farsical in that they have people representing countries that have no links to them yet they attend this Festival with the sole purpose of making money via Food and drink sales whilst sitting in a Govt subsidised tent!
…….

Well, if the beer tents have signs in Farsi you might indeed have a point…

No disappointment there Poetix – the quality of commentary is consistent, anyway on to important things………………….

Visited the event with the plan of sampling the food, which I did as I realised this would be my last consumable purchase from this festival :(.

Gozleme ladies smoking withing 3 feet of the food area, food being prepared on a table, in a side alley, right next to the portaloos?? Seriously? Sorry guys but it looks like the standards have slipped even lower this year which is a real shame because I know the effort the organisers put into this event.

#12
FD1011:11 am, 09 Feb 13

arescarti42 said :

The multicultural festival is a family event, and has a very visible police presence, which would suggest the likelihood of under age drinking and alcohol intoxication by participants is minimal (compared to say, a licenced venue where people go for the specific purpose of under age drinking and getting intoxicated).

Haha, that is laughable. When I was under 18 the multicultural festival was a well-known place to pick up some beer without being challenged for ID. The ‘visible police presence’, unless positioned at every point of sale, is largely ineffective. This might shock you, but the sight of police standing 50m away through a packed crowd will not work against the majority of determined teenagers.

The AHA might have an ulterior motive, as JB and others imply, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a legitimate point(s).

#13
Alderney12:02 pm, 09 Feb 13

cranky said :

And the AHA have a flawless record in RSA. Pulleeeaaase>

This.

If RSA were properly enforced many would spend no more than 2 hours in a venue before being forced to go home.

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