Selling alcohol at bottle shops to drinkers, who do not have to meet the same standards as those in pubs or clubs, could be leading to domestic violence in homes.
Ovens Valley MP Tim McCurdy says he is “not suggesting a nanny state at all”, but has raised concerns about allowing alcohol sales to those who would abuse their rights to drink at home.
He told Parliament this week he and the Opposition supported changes to Victoria’s Liquor and Gambling Legislation Amendment Bill, which would ensure retailers had a safe space for the responsible service of alcohol, with security in nightclubs and five-star ratings.
“That investment is wasted when 72 per cent of the alcohol purchased is consumed at home or bought at off-licence premises - I think this is an area we need to focus on,” Mr McCurdy said.
“If you go to a nightclub or bar the responsible service of alcohol rules are all there on display, and you know what they are. But when you go to the supermarket, buy up big and take it home, domestic violence and other issues can sometimes come from that purchase.”
The MP denied he was trying to stop responsible people drinking alcohol at home.
“Those who do abuse that right, through excessive alcohol use, domestic violence or other unsociable behaviour, certainly need to be brought to account,” he said.
“If a bartender is responsible and accountable for a person’s conduct in a bar, at what stage is the supermarket accountable and responsible in that area?”
At what stage is the supermarket accountable and responsible?MP Tim McCurdy
Proposed legislation, which already passed in the upper house, also allows diners to take home the remainder of a bottle of wine they do not finish at a venue.
Mr McCurdy said the new laws would benefit tourists visiting wineries in the Ovens and King valleys and allow people to stop drinking when they feel comfortable, without making them feel they have wasted money.
This means that you do not have to finish that bottle just because you paid an enormous amount of money for it,” he said.
“You can put the lid on it and take it home. Again this is a very practical step forward.”
But the new rules will stop minors being able to drink alcohol at licensed premises when dining with their parents.
“Times have changed, as we know, and I think it is better to have consistent rules, such as that a minor is not permitted to drink whether they are with a parent or not,” Mr McCurdy said.