A liquor accord is a written agreement between licensed venues and other stakeholders, with the purpose of working together to support one another on issue/s of mutual concern. For example a liquor accord may be created to assist in the reduction of alcohol misuse and associated harms within a local community.
Depending on the specific needs and characteristics of the region involved, most liquor accords include members from the local business community, local councils, local police, government departments and other community focused organisations. Voluntary participation by licensees in local area initiatives is allowed for when a stakeholder of a liquor accord and liquor related problems can be addressed with the introduction of practical solutions. Such teamwork aims to ensure that precincts and venues are safe and enjoyable places in which to meet and socialise which will ultimately enhance community life and enjoyment of the local area.
The AHA (NT) was funded by the Department of Business to assist industry to develop, maintain and promote liquor accords within the Northern Territory. The AHA (NT) also assists in the development and implementation of Alcohol Management Plans.
Liquor accords are extremely worthwhile if all parties come to the table as equals and have a long term view of the benefits which can flow from an effective liquor accord. This requires a strong commitment from all members (licensees, police, government) who must be able to work together to make change happen. It may also present an opportunity for local police and councils to improve their working relationships with industry on issues of common interest.
Any ACCC concerns are able to be prevented by seeking immunity from the competition provisions of the Trade Practices Act through the ‘authorization’ process. There is a clear process to follow which will prevent any legal repercussions for members of an accord. The problem of alcohol abuse within local communities and the need for a range of strategies to address the problems are understood by the ACCC. Where the ACCC is satisfied that the public benefit from the arrangements between competitors will outweigh any public detriment, it can grant immunity from legal action.
If you have any queries in relation to liquor accords, or you wish to implement an accord in your local area within the Northern Territory, please contact the AHA (NT) office on (08) 8981 3650.
Current Liquor Accords:
- Katherine Liquor Accord
- Casuarina Business Precinct Liquor Accord
- Tennant Creek Liquor Accord
- Kakadu Liquor Accord
- Nhulunbuy Liquor Accord
- Darwin Packaged Liquor Accord
- Alice Springs Liquor Accord
*In development/under review....
- Darwin City Late Night Liquor Accord