Under-age drinkers will be banned from licensed venues until their 19th birthday in a new Hastings Liquor Accord (HLA) safety campaign.
The new 'Rethink That Sneaky Drink' safety campaign was voted in unanimously by HLA members at their meeting on June 17.
Under the new initiative, under-age members drinkers in any pub, club or restaurant in the greater Port Macquarie region will be barred from entering licensed premises until their 19th birthday.
HLA president Alistair Flower said the new campaign is likely to be enacted in August before the school holidays begin.
"Ultimately the consequence to the individual under 18 is relatively minor compared to the severity of what happens to the licensee," said Mr Flower.
"We just need to make sure we are educating the under age drinkers of what the consequences are."
Sale and supply of alcohol to minors can attract penalties of up to $11,000 and 12 months imprisonment for adults convicted of under-age alcohol supply offences, according to Liquor and Gaming NSW.
In addition, a premises' liquor licence can be suspended or cancelled where alcohol is sold to a minor, and automatically cancelled when three offences occur in 12 months.
A HLA media statement circulated at the June 17 meeting said the hospitality industry is heavily regulated.
Parents and minors must understand the impact of a minor unlawfully entering and consuming alcohol in a licensed premise, the statement said.
The HLA will impose up to a 12 month ban on offences involving minors.
"This could potentially see a minor not be able to associate with their friends or families in licensed premises until they are 19," the statement added.
"This action shows that licensees consider the offences by minors to be serious and detrimental to their businesses.
"It is no laughing matter for licensees or their staff. If a liquor licence is suspended or revoked, it impacts on the employment of a lot of people and subsequently impacts on their families."
Sergeant John Lawrie from Port Macquarie Police, said venues were being accountable.
"The strategies that are put in place here have full police support," said Sgt Lawrie.
"Licensees are fairly heavily accountable, they have got every reason to deter minors from coming to their venue and purchasing liquor.
"The sanctions are high and we have had a couple of incidents across the police district.
"We are starting to see more minors attempting to access venues in recent times."
The HLA is also seeking endorsement for the campaign from the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
What else is making news?
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.