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3 February 2020

South Sydney Graphic Arts Club forced to shut for serving minors

South Sydney Graphic Arts Club has been forced to shut for 24 hours after being caught serving alcohol to minors.

The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority suspended the club’s liquor licence for the offence which was detected by NSW Police on 4 August 2018. This meant the club was prevented from trading on Monday, 27 January.

During a covert operation, police identified three young patrons aged 16 and 17 sitting in a restricted area drinking bottles of beer.

Police questioned the young patrons, resulting in one aged 16 stating he’d bought the beers at the bar, and the staff member failed to ask for identification.

Two other staff members indicated to police they were suspicious as to the age of the minors but acknowledged they did nothing to ascertain their age.

The staff member responsible for serving the minor was issued a penalty notice by the NSW Police. None of the staff members involved are now employed by the club.

Under the Minors Sanctions Scheme, the Authority can hand out escalating penalties to venues found guilty of serving alcohol to minors, which includes licence suspensions of up to 28 days.

In handing out the penalty, the Authority noted that the venue had no adverse history of compliance issues with its liquor licence. Further, the police were of the opinion that the offence was a result of individual failing, not a managerial or cultural issue.

Under the Minors Sanction Scheme, escalating penalties apply for selling alcohol to under 18s including liquor licence suspensions, cancellations and disqualifications. Licensed venues are advised to ask for age ID of any patrons who appear under the age of 25. There can be no exceptions.