Key changes to take effect from 1 October include:
- Changes to the Three Strikes disciplinary scheme. The changes target venues that repeatedly commit the most serious offences. All strikes will be determined by the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA), rather than the Secretary of the Department of Industry. Except for clubs, strikes are incurred by the licensee or approved manager, rather than the venue. Club venues will continue to incur the strike. Breaches of minor licence conditions, including precinct conditions (other than the lockout and last drinks) will not trigger a consideration of whether a strike should be imposed. Applications can be made to the ILGA for a strike to be removed after 6 months, based on the venue’s history and improved management. All strikes are reviewable by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). For further details click here.
- The liquor licence freeze in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross has been extended to 1 June 2018. The freeze in Kings Cross is aligned with the current Sydney CBD freeze. The freeze restricts the granting of licences for hotels, clubs, takeaway liquor outlets, various liquor related authorisations such as extended trading, and development consents in the CBD and Kings Cross precincts. Other minor changes provide opportunities for businesses to refurbish and improve their service. Whether an application is likely to result in an increase in people entering the precincts principally to consume alcohol has been removed. However, other restrictions preventing the approval of applications likely to result in the patron capacity of a CBD or Kings Cross venue being increased have been retained. For further details click here.
- Improved effectiveness of the Minors Sanction Scheme for venues that sell alcohol to under-18s. The ILGA will now determine whether or not to suspend a licence for a first offence, rather than the Secretary of the Department of Industry. This decision will be reviewable by NCAT. For further details click here.
- Greater business flexibility for small bars in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross precincts trading after midnight. The current post-midnight drink restrictions have been removed for venues in the CBD and Kings Cross precincts, bringing them in line with other small bars across NSW. For further details click here.