Schools licensing QLD - 19 Mar 2013

School licensing changes a worry in Queensland

Despite many parents complaining about excessive drinking at school events, the Queensland Government has announced that community groups and schools will face less control over the serving and sale of alcohol.  They will no longer need to apply for a liquor permit to sell alcohol or have anyone trained in responsible service of alcohol.

In a bid to cut red tape by 20% the Queensland Attorney General, Jarrod Bleijie, said, “Many of these regulations and requirements are unnecessary and cause headaches for groups planning an event. Trivia nights and fetes are currently required to apply for a community liquor permit, have a person with a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate and, in some instances, employ security guards”.

Is this a step in the right direction for tackling alcohol-related harm in Queensland?

Excessive drinking is more likely to occur when license restrictions are removed and servers aren’t trained in responsible serving practices. The Government is therefore removing controls over the drug that does the most damage to Queenslanders. In fact, Queensland has the second highest proportion of risky drinkers in Australia.

The recent National Household Drug Survey found that 44.9 per cent of the Australian population is drinking at risky levels.

Parents are already concerned about drinking occurring at events where children are present such as school discos, fetes, and sports events. It undermines the school health program that teaches children that drinking is not essential to having a good time.

Although the Government may be taking a step in the wrong direction, schools can still consider whether it’s appropriate to supply alcohol at events including selling alcohol to raise funds. GrogWatch supports schools that implement a comprehensive alcohol policy and ensure that young people are experiencing events where alcohol is not consumed. As many parents have pointed out; schools are not bars or hotels.

Would you like to share your opinion on Queensland’s licensing changes with GrogWatch readers? Leave a reply below.

You can also send an email to Queensland’s Attorney General, Jarrod Bleijie (Attorney@ministerial.qld.gov.au), to let him know what you think of the changes to the law.