Amendments to the Liquor Act 2007 and the Liquor Regulation 2018 were recently passed by both houses of Parliament to support and invigorate Sydney’s 24-hour economy.
From 1 May 2021, the current liquor licence freeze applying to venues in parts of the Sydney CBD will be removed.
Within the existing liquor freeze precincts, new licences cannot be granted for hotels, clubs, bottle shops or for on-premises licences that wish to operate as a public entertainment venue. The freeze also prevents Primary Service Authorisations from being granted for an on-premises licence that operates as a public entertainment venue or a restaurant.
In their place will be a new concept called Cumulative Impact Assessment Areas (or CIAs).
The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) can now designate an area as a CIA area where they believe (because of the current density of licences in the area) that granting more licences in the area would be inconsistent with their duty to ensure that granting an additional licence will not be detrimental to the well-being of the local or broader community (their ‘social impact duty’).
The current three freeze precincts only cover certain areas of the CBD, while the entire Sydney CBD has been designated a CIA area.
Where an area is designated as a CIA area, ILGA must publish an assessment (in the form of a document or report) on their website.
When considering all ‘relevant’ applications for a licence or authorisation, ILGA will need to take into account all the existing factors under the Act, but will also need to consider any CIA that exists for the area where the licence is proposed.
Contact us if you need any advice or assistance with liquor licensing.