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Tassie hoteliers resist State Government moves to tighten rules for serving alcohol

A tightening of alcohol service rules is recommended following a review of the state Liquor Licensing Act. This recommendation has angered hospitality industry officials as, under the proposed changes, around 20 000 of the state's hospitality workers will have to resit the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) test every five years.

The Tasmanian Hospitality Association's Steve Old said that, "...it was an insult. It's just like saying to someone who drives a car, 'you need to do your licence every three or five years.'"

Mr Old lso went on to say that, "One of the things in our industry is once you get your licence you are abiding by the principles of the RSA every day of your life in an industry that serves alcohol."

The review was also criticised for its failure to crack down on the increasing numbers of bottle shops opening in the state.

Of the 24 recommendations arising from the review, police would be given the power to ban drinkers for up to six months, require all venues to provide free water and stop irresponsible advertising.

Welfare organisations, however, are disappointed that the recommendations did not go far enough. The Salvation Army's Stuart Foster wants to see restrictions on the number of bottle shops and their trading hours. He said that off-licence venues had tripled in the northern suburbs of Hobart and argues, "Is that what the community really needs, more access to alcohol and ease of availability?"

Before handing its final recommendations to the State Government next year, the department said it would consider submissions.

Various alcoholic drinks lined up on a bar.

Source  :  ABC News, Monday 25 August 2014