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Addressing anti-social behaviour
Keeping our streets safe and reducing alcohol-related violence is important to the City of Sydney. We are working closely with the state government and the police on initiatives that target 'hot spots' in Central Sydney. We also have the means to prohibit alcohol consumption in public places throughout the local area.
Liquor licence freeze
There is a freeze on liquor licences (which pubs, clubs and other such venues require to serve alcohol) in designated places in New South Wales (NSW). The freeze is part of moves to improve public safety by bringing the number of people socialising in key zones back to a manageable level.
The NSW Government introduced the liquor licence freeze in 2009 and it has subsequently been extended a number of times.
The freeze initally applied to 3 precincts in the local area: Oxford St in Darlinghurst, Kings Cross and CBD South.
In Oxford Street, Dalinghurst, the liquor freeze is currently in place until at least 24 December 2013. In Kings Cross, the liquor freeze is in place until at least 24 December 2015. CBD South is no longer subject to the liquor freeze at this time.
Maps detailing these areas are available to download below.
Environment and Venue Assessment Tool
Developed by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, the Environment and Venue Assessment Tool assists in evaluating venue density issues in relation to liquor license applications.
The EVAT, created as part of the research into the impact of licensed premises in NSW, will be trialled by the OLGR in the local area from early 2013.
If you are considering opening a licensed venue anywhere in the local area, you should contact the OLGR before submitting your development application.
The City will be assisting in the trial but is not responsible for the implementation of EVAT or other decisions relating to liquor license applications.
Since December 2012, none of the freeze restrictions apply to small venues in any of the freeze precincts. Small venues have a capacity of 60 people or fewer with no gaming machines or takeaway sales. They must also not be a public entertainment venue or trade after 2am.
Therefore, it may be possible to open a new small venue in the freeze precincts, subject to planning and licensing legislation. If your existing venue meets the criteria for a small venue, you may make an application for an increase in trading, such as extended trading hours or a primary service authorisation (permission to serve alcohol without food).
You can download the liquor freeze provisions from the NSW Legislation website.
Development application freeze
A freeze on development approvals to increase capacity or hours of operation is in place until the end of the liquor freeze in each area. This includes development applicants for new and existing venues.
There is no right of appeal to the Land and Environment Court for a deemed refusal for these types of applications during the freeze period. These provisions do not apply to small venues.
If you are considering opening a licensed venue in the local area, you should contact a City planner for a free pre-DA meeting at your nearest Neighbourhood Service Centre before submitting your development application.
There is also a freeze on new and expanded footway dining approvals for premises in Kings Cross as long as the liquor freeze is in place. The freeze applies to venues with a liquor licence. The freeze does not apply to small venues.
Applications from licensed restaurants and cafes on Oxford Street, other than those with primary service authorisations, may still be considered, although the freeze remains for other types of venues.
Footway approvals in all liquor freeze areas will not be granted if they:
- Increase the patron capacity of the premises
- Increase the number of people likely to enter the freeze precinct primarily to drink alcohol
- This includes new venues and for venues with existing footway areas seeking to extend trading hours or increase capacity.
Footway dining applications will still be considered for licensed venues outside of the freeze area and for non-licensed venues within the freeze areas.
Liquor accords are voluntary partnerships between the liquor industry, local and state governments and the police. Membership is open to owners of licensed premises.
Accords aim to:
- improve the operation of the licensed premises
- promote the responsible service and consumption of alcohol
- prevent or reduce alcohol-related harm.
There are 7 accords in designated precincts covering the whole of the local area. Such area-based accords can help develop local responses to specific issues.
The accord areas are:
- city central
- city north
- city south
- Darling Harbour
- Kings Cross
- Surry Hills
The City of Sydney supports the accords as part of a widespread approach to reducing alcohol-related harm and anti-social behaviour.
See the contact details for your local accord here.
The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing oversees liquor accords in NSW.
The City has responded to requests from the community and established alcohol-free zones in areas that have attracted street drinkers, including lanes and parks.
Where an alcohol-free zone is established, it is an offence for members of the public to drink alcohol in the zone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your local police station enforces these laws.
A map of alcohol-free zones (also known as 'alcohol-prohibited areas') in the City is available for download below. Licensed cafés and restaurants that serve alcohol outdoors within the zones are exempt.
Applications for an alcohol-free zone can be made by members of the community or the police. If you would like to lodge an application, download and complete the form below. Your application must specify the reasons for the proposed zone.
Safe City Project Coordinator
02 9265 email@example.com
|Liquor licence freeze locations in Kings Cross||PDF 1.5 MB||Download|
|Liquor licence freeze locations in Oxford Street||PDF 1013.0 KB||Download|
|Alcohol-free zones in the City of Sydney||PDF 1.2 MB||Download|
|Alcohol-free zone application form||PDF 33.7 KB||Download|
Last updated: Wednesday, 12 June 2013