26 September 2023

Measurements watchdog bites bar owners

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The National Measurement Institute (NMI) has cracked down on licensed premises inaccurately measuring alcohol drinks, launching a week long blitz across the country.

General Manager for Legal Metrology at NMI, Bill Loizides said Australia’s trade measurement laws ensured consumers got what they paid for when they bought products by weight, volume or number.

“We have put hotels, bars and clubs on notice with a rigorous but fair approach during the inspections,” Mr Loizides said.

He said NMI’s latest compliance report showed that spirit dispensers used in licensed premises were consistently among the measuring instruments most likely to be found inaccurate to consumer disadvantage.

These ranged from four per cent of inspected dispensers in 2015-16 to 6.6 per cent in 2016-17 and 3.1 per cent in 2017-18.

“There are also concerns that licensed premises using non-standard glassware, such as mason jars, to serve beer, may not be complying with requirements to use and advertise accurate volume measurements,” Mr Loizides said.

“Australians should be able to feel confident that they are getting what they pay for when buying drinks during a night out or Sunday lunch at the club. As a result, NMI has included a focused national audit of licensed premises as part of its 2019-20 compliance activities.”

Mr Loizides said the NMI could issue infringement notices with fines of $1,050 per offence.

He said that if the case was serious enough for a prosecution, the maximum fines were $210,000 per offence as a company or $42,000 per offence as an individual.

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