Schoolies festivities set to commence with accommodation providers and licensed venues reminded of obligations
17 November 2017
The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will ramp up activities to ensure school leavers are safe and know their consumer rights during Schoolies 2017.
Both the OFT and the OLGR will each complete a range of annual compliance operations within the accommodation, security and entertainment industries.
During Schoolies 2016, the OFT performed 84 proactive compliance checks of accommodation and entertainment venues, and 230 checks of security providers and crowd controllers.
The compliance rate of these checks in 2016 was over 98 per cent which reflected a strong commitment from the relevant industries to provide fair and safe services and the OFT is hoping for a similar high level of compliance this year.
Commissioner of Liquor, Gaming and Fair Trading David Ford said parents, guardians and school-leavers should know their consumer rights for the event, especially when booking accommodation and signing any contracts.
“Although the majority of event accommodation has been booked and paid for in advance, we encourage school-leavers to keep all receipts, learn the house rules upon arrival and look into any internal dispute or complaint service if needed,” Mr Ford said.
Accommodation and service providers must honour promises made at the time of booking and must not apply different house rules to Schoolies guests.
“In addition to spot checks on accommodation providers, crowd controllers and security officers can also expect comprehensive compliance checks over Schoolies to ensure they are complying with the law,” Mr Ford said.
During Schoolies 2016, the OLGR carried out 198 inspections of licensed premises and checked the identification of more than 1170 people both on licensed premises and in other public areas.
Mr Ford said these activities resulted in enforcement actions which included 99 infringements for minors being in possession of alcohol in a public place and 32 infringements for minors falsely representing themselves as being over 18 years old.
“During this year’s Schoolies period, OLGR compliance officers and Queensland Police Service (QPS) officers will conduct compliance checks at licensed venues and monitor public areas at major Schoolies hot-spots in Airlie Beach, on the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast,” he said.
“OLGR compliance activities will focus on action taken by licensees to ensure under-age people do not enter licensed venues, the supply of alcohol to under-aged persons, under-age people having or drinking alcohol in public areas and ID scanner operations.
“ID used by under-age people who attempt to enter licensed venues will be targeted and officers will confiscate ID used by under-age people who attempt to enter licensed venues.
Mr Ford said if individuals were found to have committed an offence, they could receive an on-the-spot fine up to $1261 or court penalty up to $10,092.
“I encourage parents and guardians of school leavers to have a discussion with your child to reinforce the important messages regarding responsible choices about alcohol, including potential legal factors,” he said.
Consumers, accommodation providers and security providers can find further advice on the OFT website at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13QGOV (13 74 68).
Licensees, school leavers, parents and guardians can find further information from the OLGR at www.business.qld.gov.au/liquor-gaming.