South Australia’s review into its Late Night Code has finally been finalised, with acceptable compromise reached – despite the spectre of political populism.
The revised measures, to be introduced in February 2016, will ban after midnight ‘free’ alcohol through the likes of two-for-one deals. It will also ban shots and other high-alcohol drinking after 2am.
But importantly, the existing 3am lockout is not set to change, after a compromise deal between Minister and acting Premier John Rau saw him drop a range of conditions including an earlier lockout time.
Rau says changes to the Code “are the result of consultation and deliberative feedback”, but has not completely ruled out adjustment to the lockout hour.
Australian Hotels Association SA CEO Ian Horne spoke with PubTIC, and says he is mostly pleased with the results of yet another review.
“It was a torturous process and only time will tell if the changes actually add value or just add more red tape,” said Horne.
“The disappointing aspect of the South Australian experience is that despite clear unequivocal evidence the current arrangements had positive results – and that importantly there was a high level of Industry and venue acceptance and compliance – even more severe, additional restrictions were initially advocated by the Minister (but ultimately withdrawn) for what can only be seen as political advantage.”
The compromise deal saw Rau relax plans to require metal detectors, CCTV and plastic glassware in venues open past 2am, shifting these expensive compliance measures instead to venues open past 3am.
However those open past two in the morning will be required to employ drinks marshals to help monitor patron behaviour, and initiate queue management from midnight.