The Australian Capital Territory has become the latest jurisdiction to introduce a “no-buy” policy for recreational goods, with retailers and visitors being prohibited from buying any of the state’s licensed carnivals.
The changes, announced in the NT Parliament on Monday, come after the ACT introduced a similar system in September.
The ACT’s system has been praised by recreational carnival industry groups.
“The changes we’re making are really good for the carnival,” said Craig Williams, general manager of the Australian Tourist Board of Australia.
“They’re bringing us in line with other jurisdictions in the country.”
The changes will also come into effect on January 1, 2020, and are expected to be rolled out to other Australian states and territories by the end of the year.
In September, the ACT Government said that it would allow all licensed carnival venues to sell alcohol, but that only up to 50 per cent of all patrons would be allowed to buy alcohol.
The Government’s move comes after a number of major Australian jurisdictions introduced “no buy” policies in recent years.
In New South Wales, for example, licensed carnies are only allowed to sell non-alcoholic food and drinks, and only at participating venues.
In Victoria, licensed vendors are allowed to offer alcohol but only to patrons who are 21 or older.
And in Queensland, licensed premises are only permitted to sell up to two drinks, but only for people 21 and older.
The Australian Tourists’ Association, which represents the hospitality industry in the Territory, has described the new rules as “unfair”.
“It’s not a fair deal, it’s unfair to those who are already on the hook for a lot of the costs of running a licensed carnistic business,” said the group’s president, Chris Pallas.
“It really is going to be a drag on tourism and the economy.”
The ACT Government has defended its decision, saying that licensed venues are more secure and are more likely to survive financially if there is no “no pay” policy.
“This new system will help ensure that the venues remain financially stable and will provide additional revenue for the ACT and the ACTs tourism industry,” the Government said in a statement.
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