Insights / December 20th, 2016

Raise your glass to a new era of liquor licensing and regulation

South Australia has it all, world-class wineries, city laneways alive and vibrant with small bars and restaurants showcasing the State’s best produce and grapes and now, our liquor licencing regulations may be able to catch up!

The Liquor Licensing (Liquor Review) Amendment Bill 2016 (the Liquor Bill) follows on from a review of our current Liquor Licensing Act 1997 (the Liquor Act) by former Supreme Court Judge Tim Anderson conducted earlier this year. In his report, Mr Anderson made 129 recommendations. The SA Government has addressed the majority of Mr Anderson’s recommendations. Below is a snap-shot of a few of the main changes under the Liquor Bill.

In an attempt to reduce red tape, as the above table demonstrates, the Government has adopted 18 of the recommendations made by Mr Anderson dealing with the reduction in red tape including, a removal of trading restrictions, the removal of designated areas within licences premises, a simplification of licence categories and a mandatory no-trading period of at least three hours between 3.00am and 8.00am.

While the Liquor Bill addresses a number of procedural complexities, it has fallen short in addressing some key matters. For example:

  • The small venue licences and the role of planning authorities in the licence process has not been addressed;
  • Recommendations for changes to sections 71 and 97 to provide clarity between those managing the business under the licence and those exercising day to day responsibility have not been addressed;
  • Despite the retention of the Small Venue Licence, its application has not been extended to the North Adelaide area; and
  • The overlap between the planning and liquor licensing regime has not been addressed despite a number of recommendations to clearly delineate the responsibilities between the relevant planning authority and the liquor licensing authority.

The Liquor Bill proposes many changes, and the SA Government is encouraging you to take part and respond. You can join the discussion on the Liquor Bill by following this link to the YourSay discussion board. Otherwise, you can email LLPSubmissions@sa.gov.au with your comments or post your submission to Legislative Services, Attorney-General’s Department, GPO Box 464, Adelaide SA 5001.

If you would like any assistance in preparing your submissions or you would like to know more about how the Liquor Bill affects you, please contact one of our team.