By James Atkinson
The Liquor Stores Association NSW (LSA NSW) has raised concerns over the growing number of online liquor retailers in the state, questioning whether there are adequate procedures in place to ensure their regulatory compliance.
At the LSA NSW Awards for Excellence last week, president Giuseppe Minissale said there are now more than 1950 Packaged Liquor Licences in NSW, "with around 200 where no investment in stock, staff or bricks and mortar is required".
"I'm talking about online internet licences run from the likes of a home office," he said.
Minissale congratulated the government on following through with prosecutions of some illegal operators, including the well-publicised case of an operator who was marketing his services on Facebook.
"But what is the outcome and where to from here?" he asked.
"While our members continue to demonstrate that they are professional and responsible operators, we see an increasing burden of government red tape, regulation and cost being imposed on LSA NSW members' businesses."
NSW hospitality minister George Souris responded that the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing was reviewing procedures to ensure online licensees were required to comply with the Liquor Act.
"The Government is committed to a flexible liquor licensing system that facilitates business investment and meets the expectations of the community, while effectively addressing the challenges of reducing alcohol-related harm," he said.