Recent changes to the NSW liquor legislation will affect a range
businesses, including those trading takeaway alcohol and applying
for liquor licences, as well as live entertainment venues in
Sydney's CBD and Kings Cross.
In December 2016, Liquor and Gaming NSW implemented a number of
key recommendations from the Independent Liquor Law Review by
former High Court judge the Hon Ian Callinan AC QC. These
legislative amendments are aimed at relaxing the restrictions on
'low-risk' entertainment venues and small bars in a bid to
revive Sydney's night-time economy. The key changes are as
Extended Hours for Live Entertainment Venues and Takeaway
In an attempt to restore the "vibrancy" of
Sydney's CBD and Kings Cross, the government has extended the
lockouts at live entertainment venues from 1.30am to 2.00am, and
extended last drinks from 3am to 3.30am. Additionally, the sale of
takeaway alcohol has been extended from 10pm to 11pm. The
relaxation of these laws will be trialled for 2 years.
Live entertainment will be restrictively defined to encompass
events in which entertainers or live performers are engaged to
perform music or live shows, including after midnight. That would
include DJs mixing pre-recorded music.
The government has not followed the recommendation to push back
home delivery alcohol services from 11pm to 12am.
Interim Restaurant Authorisation
Restaurant or café owners applying for an on-premises
liquor licence are now eligible to obtain an interim restaurant
authorisation. This provisional approval system enables
low-risk venues to begin liquor trading as soon as they lodge an
application, curtailing the 4-5 month wait period for the
application to be accepted.
Free Small Bar Licence Conversion and Staff Drinks
Licensees holding either an on-premises or hotel general bar
licence can now apply to convert their licence to a small bar
licence at no cost for the next 12 months. The benefit of a small
bar licence is that smalls bars are exempt from the liquor licence
freeze and now have an increased patron capacity from 60 to
Liquor licence freeze in the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD
Lastly, the government is proposing to modify the liquor licence
freeze, which currently prevents the granting of new liquor
licences for high impact venues such as hotels, clubs and bottle
shops. We will keep an eye on these developments and publish again
when an announcement is made.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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In NSW, there are 7 categories of liquor licences, depending on the type of venue and how the liquor is served.
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