The Alcohol Reform Bill (the „Bill‟), if passed by Parliament, will repeal and replace the Sale of Liquor Act 1989. While many of the provisions of the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 are carried over, the Bill proposes a major revamp of our primary liquor laws. Some of the significant and more controversial areas of change include the minimum age for the purchase and consumption of alcohol, maximum trading hours for suppliers of alcohol, local alcohol policies, and applications for licences. In addition, the Bill proposes to replace the current Liquor Licensing Authority with the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority. The proposed name for the Bill is, “Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act”. It will amend parts of the Summary Offences Act 1981, the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1989 and Local Government Act 2002, among others. The Bill is in response to the Law Commission‟s Report published last year titled “Alcohol in Our Lives; Curbing the Harm”. The report recognised the increasing toll that intoxication and excessive drinking is having on the nation‟s level of health. The Bill resultantly is drafted to facilitate and encourage a safer and more responsible drinking culture, especially among young people. Age The Bill proposes a „split-age‟ approach in relation to the purchase of alcohol. It proposes to increase the minimum age for purchase of alcohol from offlicensed premises to 20 years of age or over while the age restriction on purchase of alcohol from onlicensed premises remains unchanged at 18 years. Off-licensed premises include establishments such as supermarkets, grocery stores and bottle shops. On-licensed premises include cafés, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. Trading Hours The Bill also prescribes maximum trading hours for liquor suppliers. Default trading hours are set between 8am to 4am on the following day for onlicensed premises and between 7am to 11pm for off-licensed premises. However, newly introduced Local Authority Policies (LAP) may impose more lenient or stringent trading hours than the prescribed default trading hours in the Bill. Local Authority Policies (LAP) The Bill empowers local communities to cater specifically to the needs of their community by adopting local alcohol policies. LAPs allow local communities to have more say on the concentration, location and trading hours of alcohol outlets in the community. Advertising Currently, the Alcohol Industry is allowed to regulate its own advertising. The Bill seeks to change this by strengthening advertising controls relating to liquor and alcoholic products. For example, promotions that involve free distribution of alcoholic products will be deemed to be unacceptable. Conclusion The new Bill undoubtedly presents some challenges as the Government tries to balance the interests of its citizens while trying to maintain a sustainable liquor industry within which manufacturers and retailers are not prejudiced. The Select Committee is due to report back to Parliament by the end of August 2011.