New reforms passed by parliament for NSW liquor regulation

03 February, 2014

On Tuesday 21 January 2014, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell announced a comprehensive package of initiatives to reduce alcohol and drug related violence.

On 30 January 2014, the NSW Parliament passed the Liquor Amendment Bill 2014 that once commenced will introduce the announced package of initiatives by amending the existing liquor laws.

Preparation and consultation is underway to ensure the effective implementation of the initiatives including appropriate notice to the community and to afford industry time to adjust its business planning and establish appropriate practices and procedures.

The changes that apply once the legislation commences are:

  • No take-away liquor after 10pm anywhere in NSW
  • Suspension of the trial of online RSA training
  • The creation of a new Sydney CBD entertainment precinct
  • "Lock-outs" at 1.30am and "Last drinks" at 3am for some venues in the Sydney CBD entertainment precinct and the Kings Cross precinct
  • A freeze on new liquor licences in the Sydney CBD entertainment precinct
  • Temporary and Long-term banning order provisions in the Sydney CBD entertainment precinct
  • Suspension or revocation of an RSA competency card or disqualification of a person from holding an RSA competency card, for staff in the Sydney CBD entertainment precinct.

Further measures to be implemented include:

  • Development of a plan of management for the Sydney CBD entertainment precinct, which will impose additional special licence conditions on venues in the precinct
  • An annual risk-based licensing fee scheme for liquor licences.

A fact sheet which explains the changes in more detail is available on the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) website.

OLGR will continue to notify affected liquor licensees and other key stakeholders of developments, including the commencement date of each of the reforms.

OLGR will also provide guidance to specific venues on their obligations under the new legislation.