Sunday, December 16, 2012

Serious Breach

Any venue with a liquor licence must maintain a "Manager's Register."

This register must be available at all times for inspection by an officer of the Liquor Licencing Division (all police officers hold the office of "Liquor Inspector").

The register must show that at all times there is a licenced manager on duty.  (i.e. someone who holds a "Licenced Venue Manager's Licence" - sort of like a driver's licence).

For each manager the register shows:
Time started
Time finished
Licence no.
Name of manager

The Wayside Tavern downloaded the register from the website of the Liquor Licencing Division.

On a certain evening a police officer from the (cough) specialist Liquor Enforcement section of Qld police called to inspect the register.

As a result of his inspection he issued a citation to the Wayside Tavern, reason: The register incorrectly formatted.

The specific breach:  The columns for print name and signature were separated by a single vertical line.

The citation stated that these columns must be demarcated by a double vertical line.

In case anyone missed it above:  The Wayside Tavern was using the Manager's Register downloaded from the website of the Liquor Licencing Division.

It should be noted here that nowhere in the Queensland Liquor Act is there any mention of what such a register should look like, or what information it must contain, the act merely mandates that a manager's register must be kept.

You couldn't make it up!

Premier Campbell Newman:  Keep-on-firing-them.


JeffS said...

Hell, fire 'em, and ship 'em off to North Korea. They'd fit right in there.

Skeeter said...

"...nowhere in the Queensland Liquor Act, is there any mention of what a such a register should look like, ..."
I know you don't like lawyers but you should perhaps seek advice before using that as a defence.
In a long and expensive court action — "Skeeter and Mrs Skeeter v Chief Executive, Department of Lands" — we discovered that the relevant act passed in 1944 had virtually no influence on the court's decision against us. Instead, the court heeded a bureaucrat's interpretation of the act. He based his case on his claimed knowledge of the "intrinsic" meanings of the wording in the Act rather than the literal meaning of those words. Our whole case (and subsequent appeal) failed on the bureaucrat's interpretation of the word "significant".

mojo said...

Yes, it's time for another episode of "You Can't Win!"...

Anonymous said...

Ah. Perfectly reasonable. Were you also put on 'double secret probation'?

This whole 'guess what I'm thinking, and if you guess wrong you'll be severely punished' mindset seems to be the default position amongst certain segments of our betters.

Fortunately, you can simply assume that what they are thinking is the absolutely stupidest thing imaginable and be spot on the majority of the time.

So you've got that going for you, at least.

Steve at the Pub said...

Skeeter: Thanks for the tip. However, I'm a prolific user of legal services. To use a common expression for the first time (now that I understand it) I have on speed dial the senior partner of three different law firms, and each of them know my name (i.e. if I phone up out of the blue I only have to say my name, extra information such as where I am from or what business I am in is not required).

Steve at the Pub said...

Skeeter: That is how I got to know the beast so well. I loathe the bastards, for I know well just what sociopathic, lying, cheating, arrogant bastards they are! *sigh*

Steve at the Pub said...

Skeeter: Distressing story. I feel your pain. Lots of us do.

As just about anyone who has been involved in lots of legislative/regulatory matters will tell you, when the chips are down it is the legislation that matters, not "guidelines" or anything else.

What do we do when hizzoner, through a fug of sherry/scotch, decides unilaterally to use a yardstick other than the relevant Act?
The judge may as well have used a dartboard to decide. Legislation can be overturned only by other legislation voted on by elected parliamentarians, not by the uncorroborated musings of a public servant.

Make you want to weep doesn't it?

Skeeter said...

Steve: Just after we lost our appeal, another local farmer won his very similar plea. (He had a more sympathetic judge who had actually walked over the farm to see for himself whether the bloke was actually farming).
Within less than a year after that second case, the Act was amended and the word "significant" was replaced with a dollar amount. Based on that dollar amount, we would have easily proved our case. We had achieved a revenue of twice the newly-stated minimum $s.
I rang the Lands Department and the bureaucrat agreed that I would now win if I took them to court again. "But it won't do you any good," he smirked. "We have changed the way the concessional valuation is calculated so you will still be paying the same rates as non-farmers."
So much for his noble claim of understanding the "intrinsic" meaning intended by the legislators in 1944.

kae said...

Hi Skeeter (sorry to message on your blog SatP!)
Will you be home on Christmas day? Me and MDFD will be down that way and may need to escape for a little while....