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The South Australian Government is planning sweeping changes to the State’s liquor laws in response to the first review of the Liquor Licensing Act in around two decades.

Proposed changes include:

  • Streamlining liquor licensing categories
  • Removing restrictions relating to the sale of liquor on Sundays, Christmas Day, Good Friday and New Year’s Eve
  • Tightening the laws relating to the supply of alcohol to minors
  • Introducing a mandatory three three-hour in trade for late night premises between 3am and 8am

Comments closed

Mark Basham

06 Jan 2017

These changes are, on the whole fine if one wants to to cut red tape for the industry. However, my concern is that what works well in the entertainment hub in the city will not necessarily work well when a licensed premises is based in a residential area, or next to one.
These changes need to be considered in that light. Also, so I am suggesting that, like the small bar provisions (which have worked well), that these changes only apply to the CBD for now where it impacts on opening hours, or other provisions may affect the amenity of the area.
Changes to allow entertainment at any trading hour, or to allow alcohol purchases without a meal (a backdoor to turning a restaurant into a bar), or automatic extensions to trading hours are NOT welcome in the suburbs, unless the premises are in a non-residential area or not cause loss of amenity to one.
I shall use some real life examples in my local area - The Grand North Tavern could operate longer hours with entertainment with little impact on the local residents due to its distance from them and being across a major road. The Oakden Central at Oakden has hundreds of residences within 150m west of its location in Northgate that can hear considerable noise from its currently operating function centre, and has to put up with patrons leaving the gaming lounge up until 2am, often drunk and disorderly. The OG Hotel in Klemzig operates pokies and bar until 4am, its bottle shop until midnight and causes no issues of which I am aware to any residents as the closest is over 200m away and buffered by main roads and business premises.
My suggestion to both fix current issues and prevent further problems is for suburban licensing issues to be handled by Councils who are more in tune with local conditions. If not, then they will need to be licensed differently to meet the requirements of the Community Impact & Public Interest Test, which some already do not.
Recommendation 69 removing a Council's right to object is a poor decision, being that Councils are often the only body residents can turn to when they have an issue with liquor licensing issues. This will leave residents no other choice than to go to their local MPs instead, creating a larger workload for them. Please do not change these provisions.
My submission is made as that of a local government Councillor with over 25 years experience in that role, but also as someone who has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years (I have an RSA) including sporting clubs, events and indoor/outdoor functions.

John Leov

05 Jan 2017

Regarding the streamlining of licensing categories, further consideration could be given to the waiving of a fee for registered charities fundraising via the responsible sale of alcohol.

The current process requires the application to be submitted and then requires consideration by the Commissioner to determine if the fee is waived. If the applicant provides proof that they are a registered charity on the ACNC, this could be improved to a standard fee waiver. As most charities rely on fundraising to generate income due to a lack of available funding, this would provide more certainty to charities planning events.

Furthermore it would also support an increase in efficiency in the processing of applications by removing red tape (a desired outcome of this submission process), and improve the net result of the fundraising for the registered charity. A win for all it would seem.

Government Agency

Attorney-General's Department > John Leov

06 Jan 2017

Hi John, thanks for your comments. They will be considered through this process.

Ruth ONEILL

23 Dec 2016

My view is no children under 15 should be allowed in licenced venues. I know this impacts on families wanting to eat out but alcohol is a hard drug and it pains me to see children exposed to this from an early age. I am speaking from experience on this and the effect alcohol had on my childhood. Restaurants can provide alcohol free family dining & adults who wish to partake can do so in a child free zone.
I also don't think supermarkets should sell alcohol within the grocery section. Again this normalises a potentially dangerous hard drug. If you ever witnessed an alcoholic withdrawing you would understand.
Having this view I am not opposed to informed use of alcohol and I believe if a parent wishes to offer their child aged 16+ a champagne at Christmas dinner for example then this is their free choice. At least the young adult then learns the moderate responsible use of alcohol.

Government Agency

Attorney-General's Department > Ruth ONEILL

03 Jan 2017

Hi Ruth - thanks for sending through your comments. They will be considered through this process.

B Schroeder

23 Dec 2016

One of the best ways to promote the consumption of liquor in the state would be to stop all random breath testing and remove all penalties for driving with alcohol in the system. I'm sure that would stimulate the opening of more bars and pubs greatly.
Alternatively we could recognize the harm alcohol does and the incredible hold it has on us as individuals and as a society and start to ween ourselves off of it.

Sarah Belsham

15 Dec 2016

I am firmly against a 3 hour break in trade between 3am and 8am, it is bad enough that the government mandate a 3am lock out as it is. The assumption that all citizens work a 9-5pm day is ridiculous, those of us who work in hospitality/shift work are denied freedom to move between venues like responsible adults. The lockout is such a contrast to all the good that has happened in the Adelaide scene over the past few years!

Government Agency

Attorney-General's Department > Sarah Belsham

16 Dec 2016

Hi Sarah - thanks for sending through your feedback. We will consider it through the consultation process

driller jet armstrong

14 Dec 2016

The proposed changes are sensible and long overdue. The only additional comment I would make is that there needs to be a way Hospitality workers can access licensed premises other than their own workplace if they finish work after lockout.

Government Agency

Attorney-General's Department > driller jet armstrong

16 Dec 2016

Thanks for your feedback .We'll be considering it through the consultation process.

driller jet armstrong > driller jet armstrong

16 Dec 2016

Also - expecting R/P's to give a negative alcohol reading is irrational considering they are often tasting cocktails to make sure they are tasting good. Surely they should be under the .05 limit as it is for driving a car. The correlation being that if you are ok to drive a ton of rolling steel then you should be absolutely fine to run a bar.

Government Agency

Attorney-General's Department > driller jet armstrong

22 Dec 2016

Hi there - Many thanks. Will incorporate this into your feedback for consideration.

Sharni Honor

13 Dec 2016

As proposed in the reform, the 'streamlining of liquor licensing categories' leaves out an integral category for Event Managers. The suggestions for change are favourable to licenses tied to specific premises, but for event managers and music promoters, this process may become harder for those businesses to continue operation.

What we potentially need is a specific licence tied to a business model and mode of operation rather than a specific site.

See below for overview on current struggles of my personal business, The Porch Sessions, and potential suggestions for moving forward.

For 3 years, The Porch Sessions operated on Limited Licenses, as we began to grow, we exceeded the ‘limit’ of these licenses in a given year and were thus denied from continuation within this bracket. We were considered as a permanent business model whom needed a permanent licence. Upon the recommendation of Consumer and Business Services, we applied for a Special Circumstances Licence, and after an 8 month process, a sizely amount of fees paid and 3 court hearings, the delegate of the commissioner has since denied the grant of this licence, as it apparently not the appropriate fit for this unique business model, leaving us in a completely dead end scenario. Since CBS have attempted to rectify the situation with a band-aid solution, allowing us to continue on unlimited, limited licenses until a more appropriate legislation is devised.

Current Struggles:

At the moment, the current struggles operating on Limited Licenses.

- Uncertainty of licence guarantee
- Late notice of licence approval (less than 2 Business days on occasion)
- Limited number licences guaranteed (eg annual limit of 12 E.P.Y)
- Bureaucracy of approvals – eg The Porch Sessions – forecasted to run 30 events in a given year. For each single event, we are now required to provide individual approval by CBS, SAPOL & each council we operate within in addition to a separate application through CBS with separate application fee.
In a given year, that is 90 separate approvals from various parties, and $2.5K in individual licence application fees.
-
Fears with current suggestions of implementation.

- Focused benefit for Brick and Mortar Venues and disregard for events
- Replacement of Limited’s with ‘Short Term Licence’ - it is my understanding that this is only is applicable if the premises remains consistent.
- Special Circumstances Licence to be abolished
- Fears proposed changes will actually make it harder to proceed in the Event Management and Music Promotion industries.

Recommendations:
A licence for Event Managers;
A licence to be tied to the business model itself rather than a specific premise, site or venue.
- Checklist of compliance, (Specific Council of operation // SAPOL // CBS)
Licence process becomes one of notification rather than approval.
- To operate not dissimilar to a Special Circumstances Catering Licence,

What we need.
Certainty of Licence approval.
- Flexibility on:
- Number of events in a year
- Location
- Duration
- Capacity
- Event Types

Government Agency

Attorney-General's Department > Sharni Honor

14 Dec 2016

Thanks for your feedback, Sharni. We'll consider this through the consultation process.

Lauren R

24 Nov 2016

I fail to see how forcing licensed premises to close for a period will make any difference especially with the lockout laws in effect all you're doing is forcing people to go home which as a result will make people angry as their night is being cut off early by the government and will cause the fights and incidents that the SA Goverment introduced the lockout law to try and prevent (which in reality is just moving the fights to different times and locations not stopping them entirely).

I think streamlining categories and removing restrictions are good, tightening the laws around minors seems stupid as the penalties are already some of the worst in the entire world and instead of changing the laws there should be more police monitoring for underage drinking, the mandatory trade break though is absurd and will only cause problems in the long term.

The SA Government really needs to stop trying to dictate what people can and can't do for reasonable adults, telling adults they can't drink is unreasonable.

Government Agency

Attorney-General's Department > Lauren R

25 Nov 2016

Hi Lauren, thanks for your feedback on the mandatory break in trade. It will be considered through this consultation process.

Mo Hardy

24 Nov 2016

The Small Venue License should be extended to North Adelaide because it is so connected to the CBD. How sad is it to walk along the likes of Melbourne Street and O'Connell Street and see so many venues with 'For Lease' signs plastered all over them. The perception that extending the SVL to North Adelaide will dilute the vibrancy of the CBD is ludicrous. The way we live and socialize in Adelaide and the inner suburbs has changed dramatically over the past decade and the Government needs to keep moving with the changes. Give the young guns a go! If we don't keep up with the demand for such venues in North Adelaide, the city of Adelaide will always be the laughing stock of the Eastern States. All these city fringe streets need is an injection of small bars to bring the vibrancy back! CBD venues will feed off them and vice versa. Give the young guns a go and make Adelaide and North Adelaide the place they want to live and set up business and create jobs! It can not possibly be a bad thing.

Government Agency

Attorney-General's Department > Mo Hardy

24 Nov 2016

Hi Mo - thank you for your feedback. It will be considered through the consultation process.

Mo Hardy > Mo Hardy

24 Nov 2016

But will it really? Drinks are on me if they are! Not sure I can wait three years though...

Mark Smith

20 Nov 2016

I notice that exemptions can still be given from the requirement to have a responsible person on duty. (S97) Given the new approval system for an RP allows one to work at any licensed premises without further application is it really necessary to have hundreds of licensed premises operating with an exemption from the requirement to be managed by a responsible person.

Government Agency

Attorney-General's Department > Mark Smith

21 Nov 2016

Hi Mark - Thanks for your comments. They will be considered as part of the consultation process.