Free small bar licence conversion
By Stefanie Collins, editor BARS&clubs
From 16 January the NSW Government introduced two new benefits for venues, including free applications for small bar licence conversions, and staff drinks now being allowed.
According to a statement from Liquor & Gaming NSW, licensees who hold either an on-premises or hotel general bar licence can now apply to convert their licence to a small bar licence, free of charge.
The statement reinforces that “small bar licences offer the advantage of diverse business models, lower ongoing fees and exemptions from additional risk loadings for late trading”.
Incidentally they are also exempt from the liquor licence freeze in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross precincts.
Licensees who wish to take up the offer can do so for the next 12 months free of charge. Although it should be noted that applications for conversions are only available for hotel general bar and on-premises licences, other licences are not eligible.
Liquor & Gaming NSW would also like it noted that conversions cannot be reversed and existing licences will be cancelled when a small bar conversion is approved.
They also state: “On-premises licence holders wishing to convert to a small bar licence must obtain development consent that permits the premises to be operated as a small bar”.
Also included in the reforms was a change to laws allowing “some venues” to have “staffies”, or staff drinks, for a maximum of two hours after the cease of trading on any day of the week.
People allowed to take part in this extension include: staff and “other people providing entertainment or other services on the premises immediately before cease of trading”.
This new policy will include “most venues that hold an on-premises licence, including clubs, hotels, general bars and small bars”.
Accommodation premises are not allowed to hold staff drinks.
According to Liquor & Gaming NSW: “This initiative will enable workers to wind down and socialise with their colleagues in a relaxed environment at the end of their shifts”.
For more information head to the Liquor & Gaming NSW website.