By Andy Young

After a bottleshop owner was fined for breaking a 10pm sales restriction, the Liquor Stores Association of New South Wales has said that while the vast majority of operators do act responsibly, those who don't deserve to be punished.

Last week TheShout reported that the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing had fined Sydney operator Harbourside Cellars $28,000, after it was caught selling takeaway alcohol after 10pm. In new laws introduced last year, all bottleshops in New South Wales are prohibited from selling takeaway alcohol after 10pm.

Michael Waters, the executive director of LSA NSW, told TheShout that rogue operators do not deserve to be part of the industry.

"As I have said previously, if a licensee knowingly breaks the law, then they should be dealt with accordingly and the law enforced," Waters said.

"If they continue to do the wrong thing, then they do not deserve to be part of an industry where the vast majority of stakeholders operate responsibly and well beyond the required standards of legal compliance."

Waters went on to say that many retailers are suffering because of the restrictions, but still make sure that they are compliant.

"The State-wide 10pm take-away sales restriction has significantly impacted a number of our liquor retailers situated within the Sydney CBD’s late night trading environment, whose businesses are reliant on servicing tourists, the many BYO restaurants, and the high proportion of local city residents who finish work after 10pm and want to simply purchase a bottle of wine to take home and enjoy with their dinner. These businesses are hurting but they are playing by the rules. 

"To ensure the reputation of our members and the sector, LSA has invested substantial resources developing a broad range of industry self-regulatory initiatives – all designed to help our members to not only better understand their regulatory obligations, but to lead by example and demonstrate 'best practice retailing'.

"LSA will again reach out to Harbourside Cellars, to identify how we might be able to assist them to better understand their regulatory obligations as clearly they need support and guidance, and will benefit from being a member of their industry association moving forward."

The NSW Government has said that it plans to review the take-away sales restrictions, a move which has been commended by the LSA NSW.

The Shout Team

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

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