About local liquor accords
Page last updated:
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Frequently asked questions
> What is a liquor accord?
> Why do we have liquor accords?
> Who are partners in a liquor accord?
> What does a liquor accord do?
> Who starts a liquor accord?
> What are the benefits of having an accord?
> Are liquor accords funded?
> What is OLGR's role?
> How can OLGR help?
A liquor accord is simply an agreement by licensees and other stakeholders to take certain actions in local communities which aim to improve safety in entertainment areas and reduce alcohol-related anti-social behaviour, offences and violence.
Alcohol-related problems frequently result from the ways in which liquor is served and promoted. Liquor laws provide some powerful enforcement tools to address such problems, including closures of premises and a range of legal action.
However, punitive measures by regulators are usually applied after problems have become serious. Such measures are generally considered a last resort. They may not provide an effective remedy to persistent problems related to alcohol consumption in an entertainment precinct or local community.
Local liquor accords aim to stop problems from occurring in the first place. They have the advantage of enjoying the support and cooperation of licensees and take account of specific issues in an area.
- local licensees
- bottle shops
- sporting clubs/ venues
- local councils
- local police
- Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA)
- other community groups such as Community Drug Action Teams
- Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR)
There are detailed examples of specific strategies in Building an effective accord. Generally, activities can range from education campaigns to help patrons understand the high personal cost of anti-social behaviour, to explanations of licensing laws along with projects undertaken with councils and police to address street design, lighting, transport, late-night trading, alcohol-free zones and the conduct of tourists.
The development of an accord usually starts at the local level through the involvement of the local liquor industry, police and local councils in consultation with OLGR's Liquor Accord Delivery Unit. In some cases, accords are started by licensed venue operators themselves, or local police (often a licensing officer will initiate and coordinate accord meetings and decisions). Some liquor accords are coordinated by local councils.
The aim of a successful accord is to bring about genuine benefits for everyone involved including:
- safer and more welcoming local neighbourhoods
- enhanced local reputations for concerned and active licensees
- an improved business environment
- constructive working relationships between licensees, councils, patrons, residents and police
- improved compliance with liquor licensing laws
- reduced under-age drinking
- reduced anti-social behaviour and crime
- reduced alcohol-related violence.
Over 80 per cent of local liquor accords in NSW operate successfully without funding or by generating their own funds through membership subscriptions. From time to time, accords may seek to raise funds externally where an initiative needs resources beyond those which can be provided by accord partners; for example, funding a late night transport scheme in holiday season for patrons, or conducting a responsible drinking campaign in local communities.
See 'Building an effective accord' for more information on funding.
The NSW Office of Liquor, Racing and Gaming is responsible for promoting the development of effective and sustainable accords across the state. We can help local groups get an accord underway or raise the effectiveness of an existing accord through our Liquor Accord Delivery Unit.
The Liquor Accord Delivery Unit aims to:
- promote and support the development of existing local liquor accords
- assist local communities set up accords
- develop effective models and provide resources for accords to aid in their sustainability and, maximize the potential of accords in supporting safer local communities
For accord contact details or more information contact the Liquor Accord Delivery Unit on 02 9995 0312, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.