By Andrew Starke

Pubs and clubs in NSW have been hit by a new wave of licence restrictions as part of permanent measures to curb alcohol-related violence on their premises.

The Rees Government today (Jul 8) announced that venues will be grouped in three categories determined by the number of assaults that occur, with over a hundred likely to be named and shamed. A full list of offenders will be made available later this week.

The restrictions will include lock-outs and service bans but will also offer the establishments a chance to get off the blacklist.

Under the new regime, premises where there are 19 or more assaults a year will have to offer free water and food for 10 minutes every hour after midnight, stop serving alcohol 30 minutes before closing and lock their doors to new customers at 2am, amongst other restrictions. As many as 33 establishments may immediately fall into this category.

Establishments where 12 to 18 assaults occur will have the same food and water requirements, will also have to stop service 30 minutes before closing and must not use glasses after midnight.

Pubs or clubs where eight to 11 assaults occur will be assisted by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing to strengthen alcohol and security management.

“The community is sick and tired of violence and these new arrangements will continue to target venues that have rising alcohol-related assault rates,” Premier Nathan Rees said. “We will work with venues to reduce incidents by imposing strict rules on their operations but will also reward them for their success.”

While the highest risk venues will be subject to similar special conditions already in force at 48 of the State’s most ‘at risk’ pubs and clubs, Rees left the door open for venues that reduce incidences of violence to be removed from the list or have the number of special conditions reduced.

“Any decision to remove a venue from the list will not be taken lightly,” he said. “It will primarily be based on the level of assaults and the provision of an appropriate venue safety management plan.”

The Rees Government will monitor data published by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and a revised list of offending establishments will be compiled on December 1 and June 1 each year using 12 months of rolling data. Venues added to the list will be subject to the special conditions for a minimum of six months.

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The Shout Team

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

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