The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) has revealed that it is only considering minimal changes to the Newcastle licence conditions, following the Horton Report.

The report, compiled by Jonathan Horton QC, came after his independent review of the conditions, which received over 90 written submissions from a variety of stakeholders including NSW Police, public health bodies, academics, licensed businesses, industry bodies, private individuals and special interest groups.

ILGA Chair, Philip Crawford, said: “We would like to express our gratitude to those members of the community who provided the written and oral submissions that informed the Horton Report.”

Crawford added that the Authority is only considering minor changes to the licence conditions, saying that there was strong support for maintaining the status quo.

“The case for maintaining existing patron lockout restrictions in the 14 Newcastle venues, and for maintaining requirements for the sale or supply of liquor to cease 30 minutes before closing, was strong,” he said.

ILGA stated that it will look to maintain the following conditions:

  • Mandating a patron lockout from either 1:00 am or 1:30 am and closing times of either 2:30 am or 3:00 am, as the case may be;
  • Requiring that a staff member be employed after 11:00 pm with the sole function of supervising the responsible service of alcohol;
  • Requiring that the sale or supply of liquor cease 30 minutes before closing;
  • Prohibiting the stockpiling of drinks.

In a statement the Authority said it would look to make the following changes:

  • Revoke the condition requiring use of a common radio network among the 14 venues, on the basis that the technology is out of date;
  • Replace conditions requiring quarterly auditing of Plans of Management with a new requirement for each licensee to update those Plans and perform an annual review in consultation with NSW Police;
  • Vary the condition requiring the notification of the licence conditions to staff, with a requirement to update staff on the revised Plans of Management and the conditions, as amended, while additionally informing all new staff members upon employment;
  • Vary the condition restricting the service of certain drinks so that the prohibition against the sale or supply of “shots” after 10:00 pm shall now prohibit “drinks commonly known as shots, shooters, slammers or bombs or any other drinks that are designed to be consumed rapidly” after 10:00pm. The condition shall no longer require free water stations on every bar, on the basis that clause 51 of the Liquor Regulation 2008 now requires free drinking water to be made available wherever liquor is served. The condition shall otherwise remain unchanged.

Crawford added: “As required by the legislation, the Authority will now communicate its proposed course of action to the relevant licensees, and will give those licensees a period of 21 days to respond.”

Once the 21 day period is over the Authority will then make its final decision, which it will publish on its website.

TheShout will report comments from AHA NSW and Newcastle licencees in the next newsletter.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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