Monitoring and enforcement

Educational monitoring undertaken by Compliance Officers provides retailers with the opportunity to rectify any concerning signage and practices prior to any enforcement action. 2015 Christmas monitoring campaign saw resources such as correct refund signs and relevant publications provided to retailers to assist with compliance. Publications can be ordered via CBS website.

CBS has a range of enforcement options. For example, CBS may issue expiation penalties, or accept assurances or undertakings from businesses that acknowledge the conduct, agree to put in place measures to remedy the conduct, and agree to steps that put in place appropriate compliance measures. Further, CBS can, in certain circumstances, take court action seeking both civil and criminal penalties of up to $ 1.1 million for corporations, and $220,000 for individuals, per offence. CBS may also seek court orders to obtain redress for affected consumers, as well as order disqualifying managers and directors from managing a business.

The following media releases provide examples of recent CBS enforcement outcomes:

Supreme Court grants interim injunction against travel agent

Inter-agency cooperation leads to traveling conmen detention

Adelaide venue fined more than $600 for liquor licence breach

Action taken over unlicensed builder’s advertising tactics

Over $10,000 in fines for breaching real estate laws

Consumer watchdog prosecutes unlicensed car dealer

Unlicensed car dealers put on notice

Action taken against real estate agency

Consumer Watchdog tackles unlicensed landscaper

Regional building contractor breaches licence conditions

Red tape reduction

CBS is now receiving apprenticeship information from Trainee and Apprenticeship Services . This means apprentices who commence an apprenticeship, and require a licence, no longer need to contact CBS and lodge an application, as they will automatically receive an apprentice licence card from CBS.

In addition, on completion of an apprenticeship, CBS will electronically send a personalised pre-filled application form, which will ensure a faster and more efficient way for an apprentice to apply and receive their trade licence.

To enable consumers and employers to easily identify apprentices, the issuing of a new look apprentice card has commenced. The new look cards have a yellow background, the word apprentice clearly marked and specify the type of work that can be performed by the apprentice.

Summary of inspectorate findings

CBS actively regulates and educates the liquor and gaming industry by ensuring proper conduct and compliance with relevant legislation. Maintaining public confidence in SA’s liquor and gaming industry is achieved by setting a minimum standard for each licensed premises, and enforcing relevant provisions where appropriate. Inspections are carried out regularly with numerous licensed venues across the state, targeting particular areas of interest at each inspection.

One operation recently saw inspectors target 20 venues in the eastern suburbs. 10 issues of non-compliance were raised including failing to have correct signage or badges or having a Responsible Person on duty. One venue had a licence condition imposed where a breach was detected. Follow up inspections are planned for the New Year. CBS demonstrates a strong commitment to compliance and subsequent enforcement.

Education plays a vital part in keeping patrons safe and licensees compliant. Educational inspections may be conducted when a new venue opens. Providing resources and materials to new licensees assists in understanding the responsibilities that come with a liquor licence, including ensuring public safety through the responsible service of alcohol. CBS invites new and existing venues to contact CBS to discuss compliance requirements.

CBS also regularly teams up with other agencies such as SAPOL, event organisers and local councils to manage broader issues of compliance. This shared knowledge in the liquor and gambling sector can be advantageous and efficient. CBS has a strong focus on working together with other agencies in all areas of compliance.

In late 2015 inspectors made covert observations by checking the responsible service of alcohol within venues and the roles of staff in relation to effective supervision and management of premises.  In a separate operation, compliance checks focusing on the requirements relating to the advertising of gambling products resulted in a number of expiations being issued.

For the first time, 2015 saw a licensee elect to be prosecuted rather than pay an expiation fee. My Yen proprietors, the Lau Brothers Pty Ltd, pleaded guilty in the Magistrates Court in December for failing to display a copy of a licence showing all conditions. A total fine of $615 was imposed and will act a deterrent to others who ignore warnings regarding non-compliance.

Liquor and gambling

The release of the liquor licensing discussion paper launched the first full scale review of the Liquor Licensing Act in almost two decades.

A number of issues have been raised for comment, all supporting increased safety for patrons and finding efficiencies for business.

This gave business and the community alike an opportunity to put forward their ideas on how the laws relating to liquor operate. All submissions are currently being considered.

Other recent legislative changes include improvements to the Late Night Code and Entertainment Consent and changes to gaming regulation and the way poker tournaments are run.

Also, find out more about the CBS inspectors and what they do to educate and ensure compliance with the legislation.