By Andrew Starke

The NSW Government has this week introduced legislation into Parliament that would underpin its ‘Three Strikes and You’re Out’ system for licensed premises.

The Liquor Amendment (3 Strikes) Bill 2011, which includes the three strikes legislation, was introduced by George Souris MP, Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Hospitality and Racing.

The proposed legislation is expected be considered by the NSW Parliament when it resumes after the winter break in August.

The idea was first floated by Barry O'Farrell when he was still in opposition late last year.

While a summary of the legislation, along with questions and answers for licensees and the liquor industry will be made available shortly, the ‘three strikes’ policy aims to target repeat offenders.

”The Government is also taking action to apply tough sanctions to rogue licensees and licensed venues that are repeatedly associated with violent behaviour or refuse to abide by the law,” Souris told Parliament in introducing the Bill.

”The centrepiece of the Government's approach to problem licensees and venues is a ‘three strikes and you're out’ policy.

There are more than 14,000 licensed premises in New South Wales. The vast majority of these are not problem venues and are not associated with serious breaches of the liquor laws.”

However Government believes the three strikes policy will add a deterrent effect to complement existing regulatory and enforcement programs, leading to improved compliance with the law, safer licensed premises and reduced levels of alcohol-related violence and antisocial behaviour.

”lt is therefore appropriate that the three strikes system targets licensed venues that are repeatedly associated with serious offences under the Liquor Act,” said Souris.

”The bill establishes a three strikes system underwhich strikes can be incurred where repeated non-compliance with these offence provisions is reported.

The prescribed offences include: permitting intoxication or violent conduct on licensed premises, selling or supplying alcohol to an intoxicated person or to a minor, allowing alcohol to be sold or supplied to a minor, permitting the sale, possession or use of illicit drugs on licensed premises and breaching key liquor licence conditions, including a condition imposed under the new three strikes system.

For a full transcript of his speech to the Legislative Assembly, click here.

In related news, an extension of the liquor licence freeze for parts of city of Sydney commenced yesterday (June 23).

The Liquor Amendment (Freeze on Certain Liquor Licences) Regulation 2011 was extended for 12 months until June 24, 2012.

For more on the areas and applications affected, click here.


The Shout Team

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

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