Staff on booze cruises are no different than those employed in pubs and bars and so aren’t exempt from Responsible Service of Alcohol rules, however senior police officials in NSW say these party boats on Sydney Harbour are operating as “pubs without rules”. Police say these party boats should be held to the same liquor laws and regulations as other licensed venues.
Some of the boats operating on Sydney harbour carry up to 900 people and the manner in which some of them serve alcohol is becoming a problem to police in the area. According to one police officer, the boats get people intoxicated by serving them multiple shots and then “dump them” at wharves where they become a problem to local police with their menacing behaviour.
The police officer was quoted as saying,
“They can be a nightmare,’’ one senior police officer said. “Many go out for four and five hours at a time where people drink non-stop and then (they) turf them out at Darling Harbour and Circular Quay and then it’s our problem.’’
This article highlights an important issue – the need for Responsible Service of Alcohol training.
RSA training applies not only to the employees of pubs, clubs and bars but also to those working on booze cruise party boats. Each boat’s employees must have a responsible service of alcohol certificate according to the law and although they currently are some slipping under the radar because of little policing on boats, authorities are likely to begin cracking down on these vessels as their fight against alcohol fuelled violence grows stronger, one officer suggests scanning customers getting on boats.
Although most operators are abiding by RSA rules, there are some that are getting away with irresponsible practices, the following excerpt from the post on News.com.au explains:
Most boats dock between 10pm and midnight but operators admit there are rogues in the business.
“We have security guys on our vessels but there are a few operators out there who cater to the backpacker market and give a $50 all-you-can-drink package,’’ one employee of a well-known harbour vessel company said.
“They are pretty much no-holds-barred and they don’t care what goes on.’’
It is likely that as government cracks down on alcohol fuelled violence in entertainment districts, party boats will also come under the spotlight.
With the measures announced by government last week, included 3am last drinks calls and 1:30am lockouts, greater regulation of party boats were also announced.
The following is a quote from a licensee who runs a harbour cruise and said that boats were safer than pubs and clubs,
“We’re very wary we don’t want a volatile situation on a boat so it’s pretty much a code within the charter boat industry that we take exceptional control in alcohol usage,” he said.
“I’m not interested in making an extra five, 10, 20 bucks out of a person when they’re going to create havoc and start spewing all over the boat and there’s no area to kick them off.”
If you or your venue is not complying with RSA laws it is vital that you do so before the government’s scrutiny of party boats hea