Sexual Violence Awareness Month is held in October each year and provides a timely reminder for licensees to ensure they are doing everything they can to create safe and welcoming environments for patrons and staff.
There is a link between excessive alcohol consumption and a heightened risk of sexual violence. By implementing strategies that promote responsible drinking, licensees can contribute to reducing instances of sexual violence. This includes training staff to recognise the signs of intoxication and to refuse service when necessary as well as offering non-alcoholic options and actively promoting them.
A resource that I would like to draw your attention to is the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation’s (OLGR) online checklist, which assists licensees to identify areas examined by OLGR during inspections, including safe environment controls. Licensees can also reach out to OLGR if they have concerns about providing a safe environment or discuss the issues collaboratively with members of their local liquor accord.
Every individual has the right to enjoy a night out without their personal safety being compromised or being made to feel uncomfortable. Equally staff should be able to undertake their duties in a safe and supportive space without fear of being harassed, assaulted or violated in any form.
OLGR is collaborating with QMUSIC and Griffith University’s MATE Bystander to develop a suite of resources for licensees to use which address some of the commonly faced incidents relating to sexual violence and discrimination that patrons and staff experience in venues.
These resources will also help licensees to be able to identify, prevent and respond to incidents of sexual violence and discrimination, and to increase their understanding of the common types of incidents that women and staff can unfortunately experience.
On a separate note, licensees may be aware that for a two-year period beginning on 1 September 2021, OLGR waived the requirements around the registration of all visitors to clubs.
During this two-year trial period club licensees have been permitted to relax the entry requirements for visitors, regardless of the distance they live from the club. An evaluation of the trial is now underway. During this period of evaluation, the commissioner has determined that the trial arrangements for visitors may continue, with the exemptions now applying to 31 December 2023. Clubs can participate any time and do not need to notify OLGR.
For more information about the OLGR Statement of Intent and record keeping requirements for visitors to community clubs visit: www.publications.qld.gov.au
For more information on Sexual Violence Awareness Month, including a range of tools and resources visit: Sexual Violence Awareness Month | Community support | Queensland Government (www.qld.gov.au
For further information about checklist for a compliance visit: www.business.qld.gov.au