Australia: Changes to Victorian liquor supply laws for minors come into effect
By Elspeth Kernebone
September 14, 2018
Teenagers will find it harder to access alcohol with changes to Victorian law.
Amendments to liquor supply laws making it more difficult to supply minors with alcohol came into effect on Thursday.
Bendigo Community Health Service health promotion officer Anne-Marie Kelly welcomed the change.
She said the new laws were another structure to underpin a system which made underage drinking more difficult.
“It changes the structures and access [to alcohol],” Ms Kelly said.
“It makes it more challenging and less accepted in public to supply alcohol to a minor.”
Ms Kelly said among the risks of underage drinking were stunted brain development and an increase in negative risk taking behaviour.
It could also pose a risk as an addictive substance.
“It’s all linked to your bodily and mental well-being,” she said.
Ms Kelly said parents were the most common source of alcohol for minors who were drinking.
In her work Ms Kelly said she has seen an increasing number of young people choosing not to drink.
A BCHS survey showed 20 percent of Year 8 students and 47 percent of Year 10 students in Bendigo reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days.
Licensees will no longer be permitted to supply liquor to people under the age of 18 for consumption on licensed premises in any circumstances.
Previously licensees could supply liquor to a minor in certain circumstances, including where the minor was having a meal accompanied by their parent, guardian or spouse.
Under the new laws adults will also face new requirements when supplying alcohol to minors in their residences.
Before the amendment adults could supply alcohol to people aged under 18 with the consent of their parents or guardians.
Now adults can only supply liquor to a minor in residence if they can demonstrate responsible supervision. They are still required to have the consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.
It is also now illegal for any person to knowingly deliver liquor to a minor.