Liquor Licensing (Entertainment) Amendment Bill

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (17:03:01): Obtained leave and introduced a Bill for an Act to amend the Liquor Licensing Act 1997. Read a first time.

Second Reading

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (17:03:50): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I rise to introduce a bill, which I have previously brought before this place, to amend the Liquor Licensing Act 1997, and that is to address the issue of entertainment consents. I do so with one small amendment to my previous bill, and that is to remove the entertainment consent requirements that I believe are unduly placed on liquor licensees between the hours of 11am and midnight. I do so knowing that the government, having previously voted against my legislation, has now announced, as of 18 February, that it will be progressing this way itself.

I note though that that is some five weeks ago and that parliament is about to go into a month's break so it will be many months before the government is going to act on this issue. So, tired of waiting, the Greens, again, will put this issue fair and square on the agenda of the parliament and do so with the support, not just of the Australian Hotels Association of South Australia but of MusicSA, those who care about live music in this state, the musicians' union and many other stakeholders who want to see not just a vibrant Adelaide but a vibrant state with a thriving live music and entertainment culture in our licensed premises.

We do so because we do not believe that liquor licensing enforcement should have anything to do with the culture inside a premises that provides alcohol, whether that is performing a poem or playing in a rock band. It should not matter to liquor licensing whether or not that band is playing folk or rock or grunge. Provisions in our liquor licences across the state which preclude, for example, heavy rock, heavy metal and particularly grunge, which is certainly something I have not seen a lot of in our pubs and clubs since the 1990s, should not be any part of our liquor licensing regime and should certainly not be being policed by those public servants who work in that unit.

It is an oddity that the Seven Stars Hotel is allowed to have four performers but not five on a stage. That has nothing to do with the responsible provision of alcohol. It is an oddity that should a venue wish to put on live music it is often required, with onerous provisions imposed upon it, to have a certain number of security on the door for the time of a performance or, for example, that the Dublin Hotel in Glenelg is restricted to only playing folk music and were then prosecuted when they put on a DJ one particular day.

South Australia needs to cut out the culture cops and it needs to cut out the culture cops now, not in a few months, not next year, but now. I give notice to the government that I will be progressing this debate and I look forward to the government's own legislation being presented in this place and I will wholeheartedly support it, should it arrive here in the next week of sitting. In the meantime, we are putting it on the Notice Paperand we will be ready for debate come May so that in the new financial year we would hope to see the culture cops eradicated from our licensed premises across the state.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. J.S.L. Dawkins.

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