By James Atkinson
The New South Wales Government will adopt almost all of the recommendations of an independent review of the state's liquor legislation, spurring contrasting reactions from industry stakeholders.
The Government's response to the five-year statutory review of the NSW Liquor Act 2007 was tabled in Parliament earlier this week, with Hospitality Minister Troy Grant announcing that 89 of the 91 recommendations made by the Foggo review had been supported, were in place or will be rolled-out over the coming 12 months.
The Liquor Stores Association NSW said there were a number of aspects that will impact the packaged liquor sector, both positively and negatively.
The association warned members to be aware of the tough new escalating penalty regime that has been prescribed for the offence of selling liquor to a minor on licensed premises.
It said the government had acknowledged that the February 2014 introduction of state-wide reduction of takeaway liquor sales to 10pm may have impacted some businesses and their patrons.
"LSA NSW will prepare and issue a survey to members and coordinate a detailed response to Government that will assess the impact of the 10pm closure on turnover, customer numbers, basket size, staffing impacts and overall business viability," the association said.
Meanwhile, the Australian Hotels Association (NSW) called for more information on the government's proposal to introduce a package of 12 late trades a year for venues.
"AHA NSW still has not been given the detail of how this will operate," said acting CEO John Whelan.
"The cost needs to be low enough to provide sufficient incentive to hotels, while six weeks' notice is a very long lead time for OLGR to process applications. We are already hearing that limiting the package to only 12 days won't work."
The Craft Beer Industry Association welcomed the change to producer/wholesaler licences that gives brewers the same rights as wine makers.
Once the changes are implemented brewers will be able to operate a bar or restaurant by applying for an extension to their current licence known as a 'drink on premises authorisation' rather than applying for a restaurant or small bar licence at further cost and effort.
They will also be allowed to sell their product at producers' markets.
"It has been a nervous wait since the recommendations were handed down last December so we are relieved that the Minister has decided to support our industry," said CBIA chair Dave Bonighton.
The NSW Government response to the statutory review of the Liquor Act 2007 and the Gaming and Liquor Administration Act 2007 is available to download here.