Fake Identity Cards
Mr GRANT McBRIDE (The Entrance—Minister for Gaming and Racing, and Minister for the Central Coast) [2.21 p.m.]: The issue of under-age drinking is one that is taken very seriously by the Carr Government and by me personally. I note the presence in the public gallery of young people. Recently many cases have been reported to the Department of Gaming and Racing involving the use of fake identity [ID] cards that are being used to gain access to hotels and clubs in Sydney. One popular Sydney hotel refused entry to at least 12 teenagers with fake IDs over the last two Saturday nights alone. Fake IDs are becoming much more sophisticated. I invite honourable members to take a look at the enlarged copy of a fake ID that I am holding which is currently circulating. This sample looks just like the New South Wales probationary drivers licence, and it is available over the Internet. The Federal Coalition Government should ban sites such as that, not ignore them, as the problem will not go away.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I call the honourable member for North Shore to order.
Mr GRANT McBRIDE: New South Wales is taking action. Today I announce that the Department of Gaming and Racing will conduct a major crackdown on the use of fake IDs by teenagers. The blitz will target clubs and hotels that are popular with the younger crowd. I make it clear that anyone who is underage and uses a fake ID to gain entry into licensed premises in New South Wales will be caught. Teenagers face fines of up to $1,100. Licensees who are found to have under-age drinkers on their premises face fines of up to $11,000. However, this is not about fines; it is about protecting our youth from the dangers of alcohol abuse. The vast majority of licensees are doing the right thing. They are responsible in their service of alcohol and they do not want underage people on their premises. They run responsible businesses and they support the law. But the few rogue traders need to be aware that it is only a matter of time before they are caught and they will face severe penalties.
Mr GEORGE SOURIS (Upper Hunter) [2.24 p.m.]: The Opposition acknowledges the seriousness of underage drinking. However, the Minister for Gaming and Racing is the last person in this Parliament who should talk about fake identification. He spent quite a bit of time boasting on the Central Coast, in Newcastle and at Cessnock that he once worked in licensed clubs under an assumed name. His portfolio covers the responsible service of alcohol! What a hypocrite! The Premier ought to change his portfolio as soon as possible.