GOLD Coast restaurants, cafes, hotels, pubs, clubs and bars will be able to serve alcohol for an extra hour during the Commonwealth Games to “accommodate late night events and showcase the Coast’s vibrant night life”, it has been revealed.
Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones announced the extended liquor hours on Saturday as part of the government’s commitment to a successful family-friendly Games.
From April 3 to April 17, all 162 licensed cafes and restaurants on the Gold Coast will be able to serve alcohol until 1am or 2am, depending on their current licence hours.
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Licensed venues located in the Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise Safe Night Precincts will be able to serve drinks until 1am or 4am, or even longer with special permits.
“Giving all venues an extra hour liquor trading will allow more local businesses to make the most of our biggest event this decade,” Ms Jones said.
“We’ve consulted with tourism chiefs and City of Gold Coast, listened to local businesses and heeded community concerns and believe we’ve found the perfect balance for Games time.
“We want to cater for international tourists accustomed to a late night dining culture and ensure visitors can experience all that is great about the Gold Coast.
“With a massive sports program and the Queensland’s biggest ever arts and culture festival the Gold Coast will come alive for the Commonwealth Games.”
Ms Jones said the extended hours will be introduced automatically.
“There’ll be no need for businesses to apply for extended liquor licenses and there’ll be no expense involved,” she said.
Ms Jones said licensed venues in Safe Night Precincts could apply to stay open even longer if they choose to use their allocation of special permits, which would also come at no-cost during the Games.
“Those venues can also apply for extra temporary extended trading hours permits to cater for late night events – like the opening ceremony and late night sports program on Friday 13 April – allowing them to serve alcohol until 5am,” Ms Jones said.
“For such a special once-in-a-generation event, we will also waive the application fees for licensed venues choosing to use their allocation of late night permits during the Games.”
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said international athletes’ GOLDOC accreditation passes would be recognised as sufficient ID to enter licensed venues in Surfers and Broadbeach.
“In addition, as part of our welcome packs and communications with all athletes, we will recommend they carry their passports or licenses, to ensure quickest scanned entry,” Ms D’Ath said.
Scanner manufacturers have been provided with a full list of all 70 nations competing in the games.
ID scanning is only required after 10pm in licensed venues in Safe Night Precincts which have licensing hours which allow trade beyond midnight.
Venues who don’t currently require ID scanners now will not need to install them for the Games.