BDR update ‘in weeks’
Hospitality NT slams govt lack of consultation
THE Banned Drinkers Register will be updated “in coming weeks” to be compatible with digital driver’s licences, but the main body representing venues has lashed a lack of consultation around rumoured hardware upgrades.
An NT government spokeswoman confirmed changes were planned to the system, only weeks after regulations were changed by parliament to allow more flexibility in the BDR.
The changes were passed as part of the first tranche of Territory Economic Reconstruction reforms during the last sitting of parliament.
The government has denied any “new BDR” being implemented, saying a software patch would be made soon to allow interstate and digital licences to be used.
“This upgrade will improve operation of the BDR scanners, including the use of interstate and digital licences,” the NT government spokesman said.
“This is a remotely delivered, technical upgrade and is not anticipated that it will require any action on the part of business owners.”
The spokesman said Licensing NT had been consulted through the process, but made no comment on whether Hospitality NT or its members had been approached.
But Hospitality NT chief executive Alex Bruce said a lack of consultation was disappointing and hoped future changes would include industry voices. “The industry tasked with using the system should be fully engaged before any tender documents are issued,” Mr Bruce said.
He said it was “believed” new hardware was being worked on, in addition to the software changes acknowledged by the government.
But Mr Bruce questioned whether the changes would allow digital driver’s licences and whether the system was the best use of taxpayer dollars, given only a tiny portion of the 500,000 scans redflagged any banned drinkers.
NSW, South Australia and Queensland have implemented or are trialling digital driver’s licences, which can be used on smartphones, in much
the same way credit cards can be linked to Apple Wallet and Google Pay.
Legislation to permit phones to use the BDR passed parliament on August 13.