Changes to alcohol supply legislation that came into effect on Thursday will not affect Ballarat pubs, an Australian Hotels Association spokesperson says.
Underage teenagers are no longer be able to drink alcohol at restaurants and pubs in Victoria under any circumstances. In the past, minors could consume alcohol on licensed premises while eating a meal if in the company of a parent, guardian or spouse.
Australian Hotels Association chief executive Paddy O’Sullivan said the change won’t have any real effect on pubs and hotels, as the pub industry had already been ignoring the legislation ‘loophole’ for years.
“Even though serving alcohol to a minor if in the company of a parent, guardian or spouse while eating a meal was permissible by law, pubs have had a house rule to not serve alcohol to a minor at any time to avoid confusion,” he said.
“Over the years the pub industry has declined to allow that to happen on the basis it is not a good look and it is often confusing whether the underage person is having a meal or not at the time.”
It is good to see the law taking a lead from the industry standard.Paddy O'Sullivan, Australian Hotels Association
Mr O’Sullivan said the loophole also used to create confusion and disagreements between staff and parents who thought it was their right to provide their children with alcohol, regardless of whether the pub accepted.
“We don’t believe it is appropriate underage people should be consuming liquor,” he said. “It is good to see the law taking a lead from the industry standard.”
Changes to the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 came into effect in Victoria on Thursday, after being passed through the Victorian Parliament on June 5.
Under the changes there will also be tougher requirements on parents hosting underage parties.
Previously, party hosts were required to gain consent from parents of underage kids, usually as a handwritten note.
Now in addition to consent, parents are required to actively police underage teens’ drinking, including monitoring how much and what kind of alcohol they’ve consumed, if they’ve eaten and if teens are intoxicated.