AUSTRALIA has given a first crack at allowing hookah lounges to be licensed by 10- and 12-year old girls.
The government is poised to announce today that it will give permission for a new licensing scheme that will allow hookah bars to be located on public and private properties.
The proposed new scheme will allow the government to expand its existing licensing scheme which currently has four licensed cafes in Sydney and three in Melbourne.
It has been suggested that the existing licensing system for hookah cafes may need to be changed.
However, it is unclear how the new licensing regime will work with the existing licence scheme.
Currently, the existing licences for hookahs and hookah clubs require a parent or guardian to sign off on each establishment.
Under the new scheme, hookah patrons would need to sign a form confirming they were at least 10 years old.
Understandably, this could pose some logistical issues for businesses that wish to open a hookah cafe on their premises.
In its proposal, the Department of Health said that the new licence scheme would enable the establishment to operate as an ‘alternative’ to existing licensed venues.
In other words, hookahs can still be owned and operated as a business, but it would need a licence from the Department to do so.
A licensed establishment can operate without a parent and can be managed by a single person, but a business needs to obtain a license from the department.
There are currently two licensed hookah cafés in Sydney, the Bunnings, and The Pint.
The new scheme would allow hookahs to be operated on private and public properties.
This will allow clubs to operate at an earlier stage in the planning stages.
It would also allow the establishment of hookah venues that can be licensed to provide a ‘live’ venue to meet the needs of young people and other people.
The existing licensed cafes are located on the city’s CBD, which is known for its large numbers of young and young-at-heart people.
Many cafes and hookahs operate in the city centre, which has a high concentration of people under the age of 30.
The number of licensed hookahs in the CBD has dropped from 12,000 in 2008 to just 1,200 last year, according to the ABC.
Although there are many hookah joints in Sydney’s CBD and in other parts of the city, the number of young persons is increasing.
Since the closure of The Pincher in 2011, there have been more than 2,300 hookah licences granted.
The Government has also been considering an amendment to the Liquor Act that would allow the sale of hookahs, and in particular hookahs with alcohol, on private premises.
There is no evidence that the Government has considered the potential for increased alcohol consumption in a large number of establishments, especially where it is available.
As a result, there is a need for greater scrutiny of the licensing of hookas, particularly as the Government considers changes to the licensing system in a future draft of the Liquors Act.
In February last year the Government introduced the Government-funded National Framework for Tobacco Control, which included a raft of changes to tobacco control laws.
These included increasing fines for those found to have broken tobacco control rules and giving the Attorney-General’s Department the power to enforce the existing tobacco control law.
The Federal Government has previously proposed a package of measures to limit the harm from smoking, including the introduction of a ban on e-cigarettes.
However the government has also made some changes to its Tobacco Control Bill, including relaxing the ban on menthol cigarettes, increasing the age for purchasing tobacco and introducing a new penalty for selling e-cigarette packs with tobacco on them.
Topics:health,health-policy,smoking,community-and-society,smoking-and,community,salt-lake-4870,sydney-2000First posted February 06, 2019 07:40:39Contact Julie ByrneMore stories from New South Wales