07 Feb 2018
Minister for Health
The Territory Labor Government is starting the year with a strong agenda to build safer communities.
The Leader of Government Business Natasha Fyles today introduced to Parliament new legislation to re-establish the NT Liquor Commission, and related amendments to the Liquor Act.
“These are the first in a suite of reforms to tackle alcohol related crime and violence in the Territory,” Ms Fyles said.
“We are re-establishing the Liquor Commission – which the chaotic former CLP government scrapped to restore transparency and rebuild trust.
“This was a key recommendation of the recent Alcohol Policy and Legislation Review (Riley Review).”
Minister Fyles said Territorians deserve safe communities and the Territory Government is developing strong laws to deliver that.
“It is not acceptable for Territorians to be paying upward of $640 million dollars a year on alcohol related harm and we are developing a clear and coordinated approach to tackle this.
Under the proposed Liquor Commission Bill, the Liquor Commission will:
be an independent statutory authority, consisting of a minimum of four well qualified members, led by a Chairperson
be referred all decisions concerning new licenses, varying the conditions of licences, substitutions of premises, material alterations of premises, and disciplinary matters
convene public hearings to provide greater transparency to the community and to increase community involvement in the decision-making process
make decisions on the basis of a new public interest and community impact test
The new public interest and community impact test is contained in the Liquor Amendment (Licensing) Bill introduced to Parliament.
“Under these changes the decision-making under the Liquor Act will now require a public interest and community impact test,” Ms Fyles said.
“The Riley Review made it absolutely clear that the public interest must be considered for applications under the Liquor Act because of the harm that can be caused by alcohol”.
The Liquor Amendment (Licensing) Bill also formalises the moratorium on new takeaway liquor licences currently included in the Liquor Regulations.
Both bills are expected to pass parliament on urgency this sittings, with the Liquor Commission established in the coming weeks.
Media Contact: Laetitia Lemke 0418 973 602