The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) has announced that it will conduct a review of the lockout laws covering venues in Newcastle’s CBD.

The ‘special conditions’ have applied to 15 hotels and bars in Newcastle’s CBD since 2008, and ILGA Chair Philip Crawford said the review will give the local community, police, businesses and other groups a chance to have their say.

The review will be conducted by barrister Jonathan Horton QC, who assisted with the Callinan review of the Sydney Entertainment Precinct lockouts.

“The review follows a request to ILGA by the Australian Hotels Association on behalf of the 15 venues to consider revoking or changing some of the conditions,” Crawford said.

“Rather than considering this request in isolation, ILGA has appointed Mr Horton to conduct a broader review and consult all relevant stakeholders in the Newcastle community.

“This is timely considering the conditions have been in place for nine years and Newcastle’s CBD has changed considerably in this time.

“This review will be guided by evidence and community feedback. We encourage everyone with a view to express it in writing.”

The conditions, commonly known as the “Newcastle solution”, were imposed to target alcohol-related issues including violence and disturbance.

They cover 1am and 1.30am lockouts and 3am and 3.30am closing times as well as drinks restrictions after 10pm including bans on shots and doubles and a limit of four drinks per customer.

As part of his review, Horton will meet with local police, liquor accords, venues, community groups, Newcastle City Council and Hunter New England Health.

The 15 venues subject to the conditions are Cambridge Hotel, Civic Hotel, Clarendon Hotel, Crown & Anchor Hotel, Customs House, Ducks Nuts, Fanny’s of Newcastle, Hotel CBD, King St Hotel, Lucky Country Hotel, MJ Finnegans, Queens Wharf Brewery, Grand Hotel, Great Northern Hotel and The Dockyard.

ILGA said that further details, including how to make a submission, will be posted on the Liquor & Gaming NSW website soon.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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