Liquor and Gaming New South Wales (LGNSW) has extended its freeze on liquor licence application in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross precincts for another 12 months to 1 June 2019.
But the NSW Government has said that in its bid to “promote a vibrant and diverse nightlife for Sydney” it has excluded public entertainment venues focused on live music, arts and culture from the one-year extension.
LGNSW said: “This change means the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority can now consider new on-premises licence applications for dedicated live music venues regularly putting on live acts where the music is played or performed in person.
Additionally, new on-premises licences can be considered for multi-purpose venues that also host broader visual or performance arts or other cultural events.”
Any new applicants in these precincts will need to make sure that their application clearly explains the benefits of their proposal to the live music and arts sector. Existing licensing and development application controls will still be in place and all applications will still need to show that they might the relevant criteria including overall impacts on vibrancy and safety of the precincts.
Kings Cross restaurants and venues offering tourist accommodation have also been excluded from the freeze restrictions, aligning their arrangements with those located in the Sydney CBD.
Freeze restrictions remain in place for traditional nightclubs, hotels, clubs and bottle shops as part of the 12 month extension for other licence types. It also prevents these licence types from being moved from premises outside the precincts to new locations in the CBD and Kings Cross.
LGNSW added: “The extension means the freeze will continue to play an important role in limiting the concentration of higher risk venues in the precincts and helping to reduce alcohol-related violence and other related harms. It provides certainty for businesses considering their licensing options.”
The freeze prevents the grant of a related development consent by the City of Sydney. The freeze also restricts the granting of some related licence authorisations and changes to licence conditions. In particular, permanent extensions to trading hours and increases to patron capacity are typically not possible.
Small bar licences are also excluded from the extension and along with the other exempted premises, LGNSW said that in most cases it will be possible for applications to be considered to vary the above licences, extend trading hours, or expand their licensed boundaries and overall patron capacity.