The long-awaited legislation to create a new artisan liquor licence in Queensland has passed its latest hurdle and now the public and stakeholders are being asked for their views.
Shannon Fentiman, MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice as well as Minister for Women and Minister for the prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, reintroduced the Liquor (Artisan Liquor) Amendment Bill 2020 at the end of November following its initial introduction before the October state election.
It will introduce a new artisan liquor licence with extended benefits for craft distillers and breweries.
It has now been referred to the Legal Affairs and Safety Committee for consideration. The committee was established by the Queensland Legislative Assembly this year and it is asking for submissions from the public and interested stakeholders to assist in its consideration of the Bill.
The new licence was part of a commitment made by the state government in the Queensland Craft Brewing Strategy back in 2018, after it identified “the need to simplify the liquor licensing process and create market access opportunities for artisan liquor producers”.
The Bill will amend the Liquor Act to ensure the creation of a new liquor licence category for craft brewers and artisanal distillers after the industry suggested that there was an imbalance between breweries and wineries in relation to licensing conditions.
New licence holders will be able to sell their own liquor products and other Queensland artisan liquor products for consumption on premise, sell their products off premise, online and via wholesale.
They will also be able to apply for a licence condition to sell samples and takeaway of their liquor products at promotional events (subject to volume limits) and applying for a commercial public event permit.
Application fees will cost $1,446, whilst annual base licence fees will be charged at $1,050.
The government has indicated that it wants to encourage the transition of existing licensees to the new artisan producer licence category. Separate amendments to the Liquor Regulation 2002 (Liquor Regulation) will waive the annual licence fees for the 2020-21 licence period for transitioning licensees, whose fees have already been waived by the Liquor (Fee Relief) and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation 2020.