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Beer economy told to shut down by Liquor Regulation

BEER O’CLOCK: Yeppoon man Clint Miles is looking forward to getting back to the good ol’ days of exchanging favours and items for a carton of beer after starting the Central Queensland Beer Economy page.
BEER O’CLOCK: Yeppoon man Clint Miles is looking forward to getting back to the good ol’ days of exchanging favours and items for a carton of beer after starting the Central Queensland Beer Economy page. Allan Reinikka Rokabeers

THE Central Queensland Beer Economy has run dry.

The popular Facebook based 'beer bargaining' concept, started by Yeppoon local Clint Miles, was shut down by the Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) this week.

In a post on the CQ Beer Economy page, Mr Miles confirmed he was contacted by the OLGR.

"Under the Liquor Act it turns out that the government says it is not legal therefore this site must be closed," Mr Miles said.

"Real sorry, it was fun, so that means it's no good."

In a later post, Mr Miles said he had decided to keep the page going under a different name, "Central Queensland Swap for what you want economy".

"In order to keep the network open so we are able to continue helping our neighbours out, I have changed the group name and the rules," he said.

"Let's see how it goes. Make yourself familiar with the rules as posts will need to be monitored. Remember it's your site so follow the guidelines and we should be apples."

Users of the Facebook page were upset with OLGR's actions.

Some users claimed it was a disingenuous use of power on the OLGR's behalf, others labelled their actions un-Australian and one even suggested telling the OLGR it would take a carton to shut it down.

A spokesperson for the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation confirmed contact had been made with Mr Miles.

"The OLGR contacted the owner of the Facebook page to advise the actions undertaken on the page were illegal and the owner subsequently elected to close down their Facebook page," the spokesperson said.

"Cases such as these are usually investigated when they are brought to the attention of OLGR, for example, as a result of a complaint.

"Under section 169 of the Act, it is illegal to sell or supply liquor products without the relevant authority of a licence of permit. The definition of sell, includes the barter or exchange of liquor products.

"While there is no specific licence for directly selling packaged liquor over the internet to the general public, the Liquor Act and Wine Industry Act 1994 allow for specific licensees to sell alcohol online."

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