Thursday, January 01, 2009

New laws delay drinking, playing pokies until 10am, by Patrick Lion and Gabrielle Dunlevy - The Courier-Mail - 31st December 2008

New Year's revellers will be unable have a beer and a flutter on the pokies first up this morning under one of several new laws effective from today.

The poker machine crackdown comes as the Bligh Government increases every fine by 33 per cent, putting infringements for speeding, parking and smoking in line with other states.

For example, drivers caught using a mobile phone will now cop a $300 fine instead of only $225 previously.

Premier Anna Bligh yesterday said the new hotel opening times would make communities safer.

Almost 900 licensed liquor outlets will not open until after 10am today while others with specific approval to open earlier will have to wait until 9am instead of 7am to serve alcohol.

"There remains more than ample time to have a drink or a flutter with 14 hours trading from 10am to midnight," Ms Bligh said.

On-the-spot fines for public nuisance offences such as urinating in public will also be trialled from today in a move aimed at freeing up the courts.

Today will also herald several policies to better protect householders from noise and air pollution.

The new Environmental Protection Policies will help guide government agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency and local councils, manage air quality and noise standards.

Councils will be largely responsible for air and noise complaints, but will have greater flexibility in dealing with them.

There will also be changes affecting the building industry.

The Government will enforce tighter controls over the labelling of rainwater tanks that supply water to plumbing fixtures, to ensure they are clearly identified.

A new code for maintaining fire safety installations will be introduced, specifying the maintenance records required.

In tax changes from today, home transfer and home mortgage duty concessions will not be lost if the home is being disposed of due to an event such as a natural disaster, death or incapacity.

Media Man Australia Profiles

Crime News Media