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.