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Have your say on the Three Strikes Disciplinary Scheme

OLGR is seeking your feedback on the Three Strikes Disciplinary Scheme so we can determine if the aims of the scheme are still relevant and if the terms of the scheme remain appropriate.

The Three Strikes Disciplinary Scheme commenced on 1 January 2012. It allows for "strikes" to be incurred by a liquor licence where a licensee or approved manager is convicted of a serious offence under the Liquor Act 2007. The scheme has been in operation for four years and a statutory review is now being undertaken.

These offences prescribed in the Act include:

The defendant for these offences is the licensee or the approved manager.

We would like to hear from you about any positive or negative impacts of the scheme, including financial and other business impacts, and impacts upon venue practices and behaviour aimed at minimising the risk of incurring strikes.

Please note that the escalating sanctions regime, which applies significant penalties where alcohol is sold to minors on licensed premises, is not within scope for this review.

Have Your Say by providing a public submission by 12 January 2016. Public submissions can be emailed to threestrikes.review@olgr.nsw.gov.au. Further information can be found in the key issues paper for the review.

Kings Cross ID scanner review

The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing is reviewing the requirement for ID scanners in high-risk Kings Cross venues. The review will help to inform future Government policy in this area.

We are consulting licensees, industry, government and the community to seek feedback on:

To inform the review interested stakeholders were invited to lodge a public submission on the impact of ID scanners in high risk Kings Cross venues. The following submissions were received:

The review of the effectiveness and impact of installing and operating ID scanners within the Kings Cross precinct is required under the Liquor Act 2007. Its timing reflects the fact that ID scanners for high-risk Kings Cross venues commenced operation in June 2014, and ensures that at least one year of data from the scanners is available to inform the review.

This process will inform a separate statutory review of the lockout and last drinks legislation taking place in February 2016. No changes to the legislation will be made prior to that review.

NOTE - Earlier this year a review of the special licence conditions under the Kings Cross Plan of Management was conducted and OLGR has published a summary of the findings.

RSA marshals now required to produce evidence of RSA certification

The Liquor Amendment (Special Events Extended Trading) Regulation 2015 clarifies that a police officer or Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing inspector may require any person who is required to hold a recognised Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certification to produce their recognised competency card or interim RSA certificate for inspection.

This means that RSA marshals will now also be required to produce recognised evidence of their attainment of this certification to police officers or inspectors on request.

Other persons that can be required to produce this evidence continue to include a licensee of licensed premises; a staff member of licensed premises who is involved in the sale, supply or service of liquor by retail on the premises; and a person employed or engaged to carry out activities as a crowd controller or bouncer on or about licensed premises.

The Regulation can be viewed on the NSW Legislation website www.legislation.nsw.gov.au.

Review of the 10pm take-away liquor sales restriction across NSW

In February 2014 the NSW Government introduced a statewide 10pm restriction on take-away liquor sales. This measure is designed to reduce alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour in the community. The restriction applies to all liquor stores, hotels, registered clubs and other venues that are licensed to sell take-away liquor. It applies to take-away liquor sold from a designated area, across the bar, and online liquor sales.

The Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing in the Department of Justice is currently reviewing the impact of the 10pm take-away liquor sales restriction. This review will investigate the nature and extent of any positive or negative impacts of the restriction, including financial impacts on venues authorised to sell take-away liquor.

The review will be conducted in two stages.

This first stage of the review is now underway. It focuses on the impacts of the restriction in regional NSW in recognition of the particular needs of rural and remote communities. As part of the consultation process for the review, interested stakeholders were invited to lodge a public submission on the impact of the restriction in regional NSW. The following seven submissions were received:

Further consultation will be undertaken in stage two of the review which will commence in 2016. Stage two will consider the impacts of the restriction in metropolitan areas. This includes the Sydney metropolitan area and the local government areas of Blue Mountains, Wollondilly, Gosford, Wyong, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Wollongong.

2012-13 Biennial Liquor Licence Return Report

The NSW liquor laws require each licensee to lodge a return every second year that contains information about their liquor licence. The report on the 2012-13 biennial liquor licence return can be found here.

Evaluation of the Byron Bay Alcohol Action Plan

The Byron Bay Alcohol Action Plan was introduced in May 2013 in response to concerns about the rate of alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour in Byron Bay. The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing conducted an evaluation in 2015 to assess the implementation and effectiveness of the action plan and its impacts upon key stakeholders. The evaluation report can be found here.

Liquor Legislation Amendment (Statutory Review) Bill 2014

The Liquor Legislation Amendment (Statutory Review) Bill 2014 was passed by the Parliament on 12 November 2014.

The Act implements commitments from the NSW Government response to the five-year statutory review of the Liquor Act 2007 and the Gaming and Liquor Administration Act 2007. It introduces new harm minimisation controls as well as new measures to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve regulatory processes. Read more

The Environment and Venue Assessment Tool(EVAT)

In 2011 the Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing commissioned research into the cumulative impact of licensed premises in NSW.

The research occurred in two phases. Phase 1 looked at the factors that contribute to the cumulative impact of licensed premises and provided the evidence base for Phase 2. Phase 2 involved the development of a tool to guide liquor licensing decisions.

The Environment and Venue Assessment Tool (EVAT) helps understand the location and venue risks when liquor licence applications are being considered.

Location risk factors considered by EVAT include rates of alcohol-related assaults and offensive behaviour, presence or absence of late night transport, police and council assessments, liquor licence density, and the proportion of high risk, late trading and lower risk venues.

Venue risk factors include the type of liquor licence being applied for, the venue's proposed patron capacity, whether the venue will have extended trading, whether it will be a member of its local liquor accord, and whether other harm minimisation measures will be in place.

EVAT provides a consistent and robust basis to inform decision making. It also assists potential applicants in understanding the types of matters that are considered in the application process.

EVAT reports are considered by regulators alongside other information such as community impact statements, public submissions and reports from relevant authorities. EVAT does not determine applications - it is one source of information amongst many that can inform decision making.

The EVAT was trialled for new liquor licence applications in the City of Sydney and City of Newcastle local government areas. A report on the evaluation of the EVAT trial and supporting documents can be found below.

On 1 March 2015, EVAT will be implemented across NSW for all new applications for ongoing liquor retail business and for applications for licence changes which involve alteration to the way a business operates (e.g. applications for ongoing extended trading).

The EVAT will continue to be developed and enhanced over time.

Download The EVAT fact sheet [PDF]

Download The Cumulative impact of licensed premises in NSW. Phase 1 [PDF].

Download The Environment and Venue Assessment Tool Companion Guide. Phase 2 [PDF].

Download the OLGR evaluation report [PDF].

Download the ACIL Allen research update [PDF].

Download the Stakeholder feedback report [PDF].

Download the Peer review report [PDF].

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Liquor application and amendment fee increases - September 2014

Increases to application fees for liquor licences, approvals and authorisations will apply from 1 September 2014. All application forms will be updated by close of business 29 August 2014.
The full table of fees is available here.

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Liquor Act review

The NSW Government response to the statutory review of the Liquor Act 2007 and the Gaming and Liquor Administration Act 2007 has been released.
The response, along with more information about the review is available here.

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Extended trading hours for hotels and clubs for special events

Extended trading hours may be approved for hotels, and for registered clubs licensed after 1 July 2008, to coincide with significant special events. The current list of extended trading hours and dates is available here.

Alcohol restrictions for violent venues

Since October 2008, the Government has implemented a scheme to regulate licensed premises with high levels of assault and other violent incidents. The scheme is implemented based on violent incident data compiled twice yearly by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR). Venues with violent incidents attributed to them are categorised into three levels depending on the number of incidents. Special conditions and restrictions are applied to the venues depending on the level into which they are categorised. The latest information on the scheme and a full list of violent venues is available here.

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2015 Easter trading hours and ANZAC Day tips

Each licence type has different trading conditions for the days on and surrounding the Easter long weekend. This fact sheet provides a reference for Easter 2015.

Venues trading on ANZAC Day are also recommended to plan ahead. Read this fact sheet when planning to ensure you have covered everything you need to.

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Liquor licence freeze for parts of the City of Sydney local government area

A liquor licence freeze has applied to parts of the City of Sydney local government area since June 2009.

The freeze applies to the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct and the Kings Cross Precinct. Maps of the freeze precincts are available here.

Effect of the freeze

The freeze prohibits the grant of new liquor licences for hotels, general bars, registered clubs, on-premises licences for public entertainment venues (nightclubs), packaged liquor licences (liquor stores), and producer/wholesaler premises.

Extended trading, other than in respect of a small bar licence, along with any approvals that would result in an increase in the number of people entering these precincts to drink alcohol and/or result in an increase in the patron capacity of the licensed premises, also cannot be granted.

Click here for more information on the specifics of the liquor licence freeze.

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RSA/RCG certificates issued between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2009 expire on 30 June 2015

Do you or any of your staff have a paper RSA or RCG certificate issued between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2009? These certificates will no longer be valid after 30 June 2015. Holders of these certificates need to complete a new course from an approved provider and then apply for a photo competency card from Service NSW.

Find out the expiry dates for paper certificates as well as details of approved RSA and RCG training providers and how to apply for a photo competency card from Service NSW once you have completed a new RSA or RCG course www.olgr.nsw.gov.au/photocard_certificate.asp

Holders of expired paper certificates risk being fined by NSW Police or inspectors from the Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing.

RSA or RCG paper certificates issued before 2009 are invalid and may not be used to work in the industry.

Kings Cross precinct conditions

Old style Paper Certificates (those issued before 22 August 2011) are not valid for work in the Kings Cross precinct, even if they have not expired according to the table above. See the Kings Cross special conditions page for more details.

Sydney CBD Entertainment precinct conditions

From 1 October 2014, old style paper certificates (those issued before 22 August 2011) will not be valid for work in the Sydney CBD Entertainment precinct, even if they have not expired according to the table above. See the Sydney CBD precinct page for more details.

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Applying to be an approved manager

You can apply directly online to become an approved manager of a licensed venue via the NSW Government Licensing website.

You no longer need to download, complete, save and send us a PDF of the Application for an Approved Manager Form.

Applying online is easy and will save you time.

What is an Approved Manager and when is one required? Find out more.

(Please note - this is not applicable for applications to become a "high risk venue manager" for nominated venues in the Kings Cross precinct. Please visit the Kings Cross precinct special conditions page to find out more)

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Liquor licence biennial return 2012-2013

The NSW liquor laws require a licensee to lodge a return containing key information about their liquor licence every second year.  The next return is due by 31 March 2014 and is for the 2-year period from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2013. The return for 2012-2013 will be open for lodgement online from 1 March 2014 to 31 March 2014.

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Brochure promoting membership to local liquor accords

OLGR has produced a brochure to help NSW liquor accords market to prospective new member businesses. The printed brochure is available to accords free of charge and is designed to promote the benefits of membership to a range of licensed businesses eg. restaurants, small bars, bottle shops, sporting clubs–not just hotels and clubs. Read more >>

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“Three strikes and you're out” legislation passed by Parliament

The Liquor Amendment (3 Strikes) Bill (No 2) 2011 was passed by the NSW Parliament on 9 November 2011. The Bill implements the final shape of the Government's “Three Strikes and You're Out” policy for licensed venues. Read more >>

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Do you know what your liquor licence conditions?

We've made it a whole lot easier for you to find out. 
Visit the Government Licensing Service (GLS) website, type in your licence number or licensee name and your venue's licence conditions will be displayed.

Being familiar with each your liquor licence conditions is a vital step in ensuring your business is complying with NSW liquor laws. 

It is important to note that conditions imposed on premises by legislation, including special conditions for violent premises (declared premises), are not recorded on this website. More information on these conditions.

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Non-trading venues

A reminder to all licensees that if a licensed premises, other than a limited licence, stops trading for more than 6 weeks, the licensee must notify the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority. Read more >>

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Appointing managers under corporate licence

A reminder to all clubs and hotels holding a corporate licence that under liquor laws, when appointing an approved manager, an 'appointment of manager notice' must by lodged with the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority to keep them informed. By law this must be lodged within 28 days.

In the case of a registered club that has two or more premises, an approved manager must be appointed at each of those premises where the club's secretary is not present, within two months. Some exceptions apply. Read more >>

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Important information for licensed caterers

Conditions apply to licensed caterers which prevent alcohol being sold or supplied on premises which have been refused a liquor licence or extended trading hours in the previous two years.  These conditions commenced on 21 April 2011. Read more >>

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Venue dress codes supported by the Liquor Act

Section 77(13) of the Liquor Act 2007 supports a licensee's common law right to refuse entry to their venue, or evict people from the venue. This allows venues to legally enforce dress codes, so long as they comply with the Anti-Discrimination Act 1997. Read more >>

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Display of tobacco and smoking products

From 1 July 2010, the display of tobacco and smoking products by all retailers in NSW, including liquor licensed premises is banned.

Visit the NSW Health website for resources and info.

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Apply online for 'one-off' functions

If applying for a limited licence single function, apply online at www.licence.nsw.gov.au. By applying online, you will receive a better, faster service and a fee discount.

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Changes to the liquor laws benefit licensees and the community

On 28 October 2009, changes were made to the Liquor Act 2007 to provide benefits to the liquor industry, while also assisting with enforcement of the law and community concerns about neighbourhood disturbance. Read more >>

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Practical and real liquor laws

The current liquor laws were introduced on 1 July 2008 - the Liquor Act 2007 and the Liquor Regulation 2008 signalled a comprehensive reform, rewriting laws that had been in place for 25 years.

The laws allow for a variety of hospitality, dining and entertainment choices. The three key objectives of the current laws are to:

Community expectations are a major driver behind the laws. So people working in the industry, such as licensees, need to:

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Liquor applications noticeboard

You can check the status of a licence application or amendment online using the applications noticeboard.

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Hot topics

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Information updates

We frequently publish new resources to help you better understand the liquor laws.

To keep up to date, join our free liquor eNews service and receive news directly to your email in-box.

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