Sunday Territorian

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.

 ??  ?? Alex Bruce.
Alex Bruce.

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