The Director-General of Licensing, through inspectors employed at Licensing NT, and the Liquor Commission through disciplinary action, makes every effort to achieve a compliant industry, but there may be times when liquor laws may be breached by a licensee, their employees or a patron. The following provides information on how to deal with a situation where you may have a concern that a liquor licensee is not meeting their legal obligations.
Section 67 of the Liquor Act sets out the grounds for a complaint, and generally include:
- the licensee has contravened another law in force in the Territory that regulates:
- the sale, supply or consumption of liquor; or
- the location, construction or facilities of licensed premises;
- the licensee has contravened a licence condition;
- the licensee has contravened a provision of an enforceable undertaking;
- the licensee has contravened a direction given to the licensee as disciplinary action;
- for the sale or supply of liquor; or
- consistently with the business of the licence;
- the licensee is not a fit and proper person to hold the licence;
- the manager of the licensed premises is not a fit and proper person to be the manager and the licensee should reasonably have known that to be the case;
- an employee of the licensee is not a fit and proper person to be an employee of the licensee and the licensee should reasonably have known that to be the case;
- the way in which the licensed premises has been used:
- has caused annoyance or disturbance to persons residing, working or conducting a business in the neighbourhood of the premises; or
- has caused disorderly conduct on the premises or in the neighbourhood of the premises.
A complaint can be made to the Director-General of Licensing under section 68 of the Liquor Act by email: AGD.LRASComplianceDWN@nt.gov.au
When submitting your complaint it is important to include any evidence compiled. This can include, for example, photographs of damage, copy of a receipt or a noise nuisance complaint diary.
What happens after I lodge a complaint?
When a complaint under section 68 of the Liquor Act, the Director-General of Licensing will accept the complaint except in circumstances where it has been satisfied the complaint is frivolous or vexatious, or no grounds exist for the complaint.
Where the complaint is accepted, the Director-General of Licensing will inform the licensee of the complaint, and will conduct an investigation. This can involve taking statements, collecting documentary and physical evidence, and conducting interviews.
What can I do as a complainant?
Provide as much detail about your complaint as possible, as well as your contact details so that an inspector can contact you if they require more information.
Where there is a breach that is substantiated
If the Director-General of Licensing is satisfied that a breach has occurred, a wide range of enforcement actions can be taken including a formal warning, issue of an infringement notice, or entering into an enforceable undertaking.
If the Director-General of Licensing considers the matter is more serious and warrants disciplinary action, the matter is referred to the Liquor Commission for hearing.
How long does it take to deal with a complaint?
This will depend on the nature of the complaint. More complex complaints and serious breaches of liquor and gaming laws may take longer.