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16 Year Olds May Be Allowed To Serve Alcohol Under New Laws

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Under new laws, 16 year olds could serve alcohol in restaurant bars and dining areas. The NSW Restaurant and Catering Association (R&CA), who represent up to 11,500 venues, want the State Government to follow their noisy neighbors Queensland and allow minors to serve alcohol.

R&CA CEO John Hart said the move would help restaurant and bar owners desperate for extra staff with the current legal age being 18 years and older. “So long as a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course has been completed, junior staff – 16 or someone in Year 11 or 12 – should be allowed to serve booze,” said Hart.

“At the moment, you’ve got a situation where someone orders a beer and a burger and junior staff can only serve the burger and has to get someone else to serve the beer.”

Crescent Head Tavern director Darren Gunn backs the plan, as he admits its hard to find workers at his small venue.
“I currently have trained up to at least 10, 15-year-olds in the food and restaurant over the past two and a half years, but they cannot be trained in bar work,” he said.

“And when they turn 18, most of them leave town as there is no full time work in Crescent Head because of the seasonal activity of the town or they end up going to uni.”

It’s not the only proposal by the association, with the NSW Government annual meeting of its five-year plan of liquor laws coming under review.

Other laws include a toughening on violent incidents at bars (which could mean that venues licenses are revoked after five incidents), allowing staff a drink or two after they complete their shift, ban patrons for “stockpiling” drinks and allow “water bars” and “chill out rooms” at venues.

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