By Andy Young
The Liquor Stores Association New South Wales (LSA NSW) hosted The Panel on Tuesday, which discussed Liquor & Gaming NSW, the state’s new regulatory body and other regulatory and legislative issues impacting the industry.
Samantha Torres, Paul Newson, Murray Reynolds and David Reberger at Tuesday's event
Speakers at the event included David Reberger, the president of LSA NSW, Murray Reynolds, detective superintendent commander of the Drug and Alcohol command with NSW Police, Samantha Torres the assistant executive director with Liquor & Gaming NSW and Paul Newson, Liquor & Gaming NSW’s incoming deputy secretary.
Newson (pictured, right), spoke to the attendees about the expectations and challenges facing the new regulator and also its first task.
He said: “I haven’t taken up the role yet, so this is perhaps a bit premature, but from my perspective the expectation for Liquor & Gaming NSW to start delivering, to start servicing the rhetoric is enormous.
“The challenge is also quite significant because there has been a churn of 50 per cent of the staff. There has been a churn of most, if not all of the executive. So to stand up and ensure the organisation is effective is a not insignificant task. But it is one that I am confident the executive, which is coming on-board now, is certainly capable of achieving.”
He added: “One of the initial tasks that Liquor & Gaming has to turn its mind to is ‘what is its strategic approach?’ Obviously you will appreciate that the government and the portfolio minister sets the policy tone, sets the policy position and the regulator gives advice to the minister and the government to inform his or her views.
“One of the first things that the regulator has to do is set out and understand what its strategic approach is going to be. Where its priorities are going to be, not only for 2016 and 2017, but also for the next three to five years. And I think that the much anticipated Callinan Review is probably where a lot of the questions are. A lot of the questions regarding what will happen with the current regulatory settings, the current interventions that were largely put in place in 2014, what will happen to those going forward.
“The Callinan Review is ongoing and those things haven’t yet been determined, so we can’t throw much light, other than it is obviously undergoing some significant deliberation and there has been significant opportunities to make submissions to that process.”
The Review is due to give its findings to the government in August, having received over 1800 submissions.
Reberger welcomed the reforms which brought in the new fit-for-purpose regulator.
He said: “The new regulator will eliminate some of the stakeholder confusion between some of the entities of the past, hopefully it will streamline processes and improve service delivery.”