New laws for civilised drinking culture

New drinking laws that come into effect on July 1 are expected to curb alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and provide a boost to smaller bars in Sydney.

Along with the introduction of the Liquor Regulation 2008, the changed regime includes the Small Bars and Restaurants Bill, which aims to revitalise small venues by reducing application fees and simplifying regulations.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the new laws would promote bars as cultural places, providing “an alternative to massive TV and poker machine dominated beer-barns filled with binge drinkers.”

Under the laws, venues that do not sell takeaway alcohol or provide gaming will have access to a cheaper trading application of $500, with the abolition of Place of Public Entertainment licences.
The fines for licensees selling to minors or intoxicated patrons will double to $11,000, and the inner city areas ridden with alcohol-related violence will see increased powers to tackle rogue venue operators.

According to Cr Moore, the council or police can make a complaint to the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority for disciplinary action, which can lead to a suspension and fines up to $110,000.

Shifting away from assumed 24-hour operation, venues will be required to seek an extended trading authorisation if they operate beyond the standard hours of 5am to midnight during the weekdays.  

“The new liquor licensing regime will help protect residential amenity, build a more civilised drinking culture and provide more opportunities for the young musicians, artists and entrepreneurs to find a niche in our city,” Cr Moore said.

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