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NSW Restaurant and Catering Association calls for underage teens to be able to serve alcohol

 (REF:Daily Telegraph 15th Sept 2013)

THEY can't legally buy liquor but 16-year-olds could serve alcohol in restaurant bars and dining areas to overcome staff shortages, under controversial proposed changes

The NSW Restaurant and Catering Association (R & CA), which represents 11,500 venues, wants the State Government to follow Queesland's lead and allow minors to serve alcoholic drinks.

The association's chief executive officer John Hart said the move would help restaurant and bar owners desperate for extra staff.

"So long as a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course has been completed, junior staff - 16 or someone in Year 11 or 12 - should be allowed to serve booze," he said

"At the moment, you've got a situation where someone orders a beer and a burger and junior staff can only serve the burger and has to get someone else to serve the beer."

Under the existing laws, staff must be 18 before they can serve alcohol.

The association's proposal is among scores of submissions put to the NSW Government as part of its annual five-year review of the liquor laws.

Crescent Head Tavern director Darren Gunn struggles to find staff to work at his venue in the small mid-north coast town.

He wants 15-year-olds trained in bar work to help meet the gaps in staff.

"I currently have trained up to at least 10, 15-year-olds in the food and restaurant over the past two and a half years, but they cannot be trained in bar work," he said.

"And when they turn 18, most of them leave town as there is no full time work in Crescent Head because of the seasonal activity of the town or they end up going to uni."

Brooke Mozeley, 17, who has been working at the Crescent Head Tavern three nights a week and during school holidays since she was 15, said it was frustrating not being able to serve alcohol.

"People will call out and ask to be served and I have to tell them that I can't," she said.

"It would be easier if we could serve drinks as well."

Community groups also want the State government to loosen the liquor laws to allow workers in restaurant, bars and other community venues to be allowed to have a drink on the premises after work

The existing law bans so called "staffies", whereby employees can drink liquor in a bar area outside trading hours.

Davidson Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade Captain Trent Dowling said the provision of beer to volunteer fires was crucial to keep up memberships.

"While it is possible to ban all consumption on the premises, this would have a very detrimental effect on the membership of the brigade," he said.

"Most community groups supply alcohol to their members as a means of social interaction, so they are therefore unaware of the current regulations or ignoring them as simply unworkable."

The Railway Hotel in Muswellbrook also wants to be able to allow staff to have a drink after work.

"I would have thought that the original purpose of the law was to stop people trading after hours but the way it is written, it stops a custom that has been part of our industry for as long as it has existed," it said.

Willoughby City Council criticised the existing laws for being too soft on problem venues.

It wants the three-strike scheme to include licence revocation or suspension after five misdemeanours.

"Council recommends that the legislation be amended to revise the scheduling process so that any premises with more than five incidents of violent or anti-social behaviour should have their licence either revoked or suspended for an extended period," it said.

Clubs NSW was critical of the focus on pubs and clubs wants tougher action on drinkers who break the law, such as on-the-spot fines for drunkenness.

"People don't king-hit others on the street just because they're drunk. They do

it because they believe that kind of violence is acceptable and they have no respect for other people or regard for the consequences of their actions.

The Government is due to table its report into the review in December.

PROPOSED CHANGES LIQUOR LAWS

• Venue licences revoked after five violent incidents

• Lower age of bar staff to at least 16

• After-work drinks for staff

• Ban patrons from "stockpiling" drinks

• "Water bars" and "chill out rooms" at venues

(REF:Daily Telegraph 15th Sept 2013)

Have you completed a NSW RSA or RCG course since August 22nd 2011? 

(after Aug 22nd 2011)
  • If your answer is NO to the above please continue booking your courses. Enjoy.

  • If the answer is YES to the above then you need to read the important information below before continuing.

You should have one or both of the below items already, either an Interim Certificate or Interim and Photo Competency Card and should not complete another RSA or RCG course UNLESS your photo card has expired by more than 28 days.

  • Is your photo card nearing its expiry date. Click here for frequently asked questions on why and how to RENEW.

Interim Comp Card sample


Interim certificate consists of 2 pages.

  • Page 1 – of the Interim is ONLY valid for 90 days which allows you to legally work without a competency card up until the expiry date.
    Warning: If page 1 has expired and you have not received your card, you cannot work until you have your card.
  • Page 2 - Valid for 5 years since completing course. 
    This is used for applying for the photo competency card at any Service NSW outlet where they will scan the bar code, check your 100 points of ID and take a photo.


You can still apply for your 'Photo Competency Card' up to 5 years after you completed your course.


Note: Photo cards can take 3 or more weeks to arrive. Don’t delay in applying as 'Page 1' cannot be extended.


If your Competency card or Interim is approaching its 5 year expiry mark, see below link for renewal process or contact the competency card team at Liquor and Gaming on 1300 024 720

Further information about renewing your competency card, and how to update your contact details is available on the Liquor & Gaming Website.


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