Accommodation sector welcomes tough new NSW liquor laws

05 February, 2014

The accommodation sector welcomes new liquor laws introduced into NSW by the O'Farrell government, in particular his singling out of tourism accommodation venues for exemption from lock-outs and other measures, AAA chief executive officer Richard Munro has asserted.

"The association has been making submissions and lobbying all state and territory governments to ensure that accommodation businesses are treated as low risk and not bundled in with venues that are synonymous with late night trading issues," Munro said in a recent statement.

"In other jurisdictions, we are advocating for similar outcomes. For example, WA is also in the final stages of reviewing its liquor laws and we support formal recognition of the low-risk nature of accommodation businesses, as well as easing the risk profile and regulatory burden that is associated with a hotel licence. It is a state-by-state issue and we acknowledge the NSW government's lead on the issue and for providing our members with an exemption."

Safety and security of premises

"With the winding back of mining operations in WA, we have witnessed a new form of non-compliant accommodation emerge – mining camps being used for tourism purposes. At first glance, this seems to be a good solution for accommodation that has gone empty due to the mining operation scaling back, however the buildings were only ever approved, with no objection from the accommodation industry, as temporary workers accommodation with limited services," Munro said.

"Liquor licences were also approved under the same guise and now we have the issue of these 'camps' being offered to the general public, as well as corporate travellers who visit the respective areas to do business.  We are continuing to pursue this issue, as it is having a serious negative impact on our members' properties' performance. Such camps could be acting outside of any planning approvals, similar to operations such as Airbnb. The safest and most secure accommodation businesses for visitors are ones that comply with all laws."