By Andy Young

For the first time in nine years the process through which community views are considered as part of liquor licence applications is being reviewed.

Community Impact Statements (CIS) are required as part of the assessment of liquor licences and Minister for Racing Paul Toole said this review is an opportunity to better understand the liquor licence process. 

The Minister encouraged members of the community and other stakeholder to have their say directly to Government on the way community views are presented in liquor licence proposals.

“There’s been a lot said recently about liquor licensing. Now is the time to have your say and tell the Government what you think,” Minister Toole said.

“It’s important that those potentially affected by liquor licences have input into the assessment process, whether they be residents, councils, police or others. 

“But it’s also important that pubs, bars and other venues can continue to provide options for people who want to socialise and enjoy themselves.”

He added: “There are a lot of myths out there about liquor licensing. The Government is not about stopping people from enjoying themselves, but we do have a responsibility to protect public safety.”

Michael Waters, Executive Director of the Liquor Stores Association NSW & ACT, welcomed the review, telling TheShout: “LSA NSW is pleased this review is finally underway, after waiting three years, following our extensive consultation with the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority’s (ILGA) during their preliminary review of the CIS process in 2014, where ILGA’s findings were to feed into this review.

“The CIS process is in most cases the most crucial stage in the application process. The cost of preparing a CIS can be substantial and while a significant task for larger retail organisations, it particularly impacts on small independent operators who do not have the resources to prepare submissions, nor the skills to conduct a community consultation. Inevitably those operators need to engage professional assistance at considerable cost impost to compile their submission.

“Ultimately, effective consultation with local communities, whilst ensuring an efficient and transparent licence application process, is critically important here.”

AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Policing John Green, told TheShout: “The current system has been in place for quite some time, so AHA NSW looks forward to taking part in this review process on behalf of our members.” 

Submissions close on Wednesday 26 July. To find out more about the review, including details on how to make a submission, visit the Liquor and Gaming NSW website.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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