29 Aug 2010

Water may be mandatory at licensed venues

9:58 am on 29 August 2010

Licensed premises will have to provide customers with free water, under proposed changes to liquor laws.

On Monday, the Government announced a number of measures to try to limit excessive drinking, including splitting the legal purchasing age and giving communities more power over alcohol outlets.

Under the proposed changes, free water will have to be served on all licensed premises.

The Hospitality Assocation says most premises are already doing that but there are some late night venues that don't.

Chief executive Bruce Robertson says such venues, which mostly offer entertainment, often have customers who arrive pre-loaded on alcohol, so they charge for water as a way of making money.

But he says pressure has been mounting against the practice and the changes will bring such operators into line.