Night Quarter served big fine for unauthorised trading
The licensee company of Sunshine Coast entertainment precinct, Night Quarter has been handed a $10,000 fine for multiple charges against the Liquor Act 1992.
Food Focus Australia Pty Ltd, which trades as Night Quarter Birtinya, was charged by the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) with 4 counts each of suppling liquor at an unauthorised time and allowing liquor to be consumed on premises outside of their approved trading hours.
Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming, Victoria Thomson said the company pleaded guilty to the 8 charges when they faced Maroochydore Magistrates Court on 16 September 2021.
“The court heard that under its liquor licence conditions at the time, Night Quarter Birtinya was authorised to sell alcohol on Friday and Saturday evenings, between 4pm and 10pm,” Ms Thomson said.
“OLGR investigators visited the venue in January 2021 where they found—reviewing documents and CCTV footage—that the venue had opened and sold more than $73,000 worth of alcohol on a Thursday and 2 Sunday nights in the weeks prior to the visit.
“Furthermore, investigators subsequently uncovered that business traded on the Sunday of Anzac Day 2021, selling over $30,000 worth of alcohol to patrons.”
No convictions were recorded.
Ms Thomson said that in imposing the penalty, the magistrate considered challenges the industry has faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“OLGR also recognises the tough time licensed venues have had over the past 18 months—especially the financial strain—but all licensees must comply with the law to ensure a level playing field,” Ms Thomson said.
To date, the Queensland Government has provided several relief measures for the hospitality industry, including an increased ability to sell takeaway alcohol for some licensees, waived licence fees, grants for eligible hospitality businesses and mental health support.
“A licensee’s approved trading hours and associated licence conditions take community safety and amenity into consideration. To trade outside of these hours an extended trading hours permit is required.
“If a licensee has any doubts about when they can legally trade, I urge them to get in touch with the OLGR—this may save them from a fine or more serious action.”
For more information about approved trading hours, license conditions and to apply for a one-off or permanent extended trading hours permit please visit www.business.qld.gov.au/liquor or call 13QGOV (13 74 68).
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