Alcohol safety

Alcohol safety

Addressing anti-social behaviour

Reducing alcohol-related violence to keep our streets safe is an important aim of the City of Sydney.

The City works closely with the NSW Government and police on initiatives that target 'hot spots' in central Sydney.

We can also prohibit alcohol consumption in public places across the local area.

Liquor licence freeze

There is a freeze on liquor licences being issued in designated places in 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 freeze is in place until 5 February 2016 across the CBD and Kings Cross entertainment precincts, detailed in the map below.

Environment and venue assessment tool

This assessment tool helps evaluate venue density issues in relation to liquor licence applications, which was developed by the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR).

It was created as part of the research into the impact of licensed premises across the state and is set to be trialled by OLGR in the local area from early 2013.

If you are considering opening a licensed venue anywhere in the local area, you should contact OLGR before submitting your development application (DA).

The City will be helping with the trial but is not responsible for implementing EVAT or other decisions relating to liquor licence applications.

Small bars

The liquor licence freeze has not applied to small bars in any of the restricted precincts since December 2012.

A small bar is defined as having a capacity of 60 people or fewer, with no gaming machines or takeaway sales. Also, it must 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 bar, 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.

Go to Links to download the liquor licence freeze provisions from the NSW Legislation website.

DA freeze

A freeze on development approvals to increase capacity or hours of operation is in place until the end of the liquor licence freeze in each area. This includes DAs 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 licence 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 DA consultation at your nearest Neighbourhood Service Centre before submitting your DA.

You can find more information in the development application guide and controls and conditions.

Links

NSW Legislation

CBD entertainment precinct

Footway approvals freeze

There is also a freeze on new and expanded footway dining approvals for premises in Kings Cross as long as the liquor licence freeze is in place.The freeze applies to venues with a liquor licence but does not apply to small bars.

Applications from licensed restaurants and cafés on Oxford Street, other than those with primary service authorisations, may still be considered although the freeze remains for other types of venues on Oxford Street.

Footway dining applications will still be considered for licensed venues outside of the Kings Cross and Oxford Street licence freeze areas.

Liquor accords

Liquor accords are voluntary partnerships between the liquor industry, local and state governments and the police.

Membership is open to owners of licensed premises.

Liquor accords aim to:

  • improve the operation of licensed premises
  • promote responsible service and consumption of alcohol
  • prevent or reduce alcohol-related harm.

The City supports the accords that are overseen by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing in NSW as part of a widespread approach to reducing alcohol-related harm and anti-social behaviour.

There are 7 liquor accords in designated precincts to help develop local responses to specific issues:

  • City central
  • City north
  • City south
  • Darling Harbour
  • Kings Cross
  • Newtown
  • Surry Hills

You can get in touch with your local accord.

Links

Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing: Liquor accords

Alcohol-free zones

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 in the local area and an alcohol-free zone fact sheet are available for download below. Licensed cafés and restaurants that serve alcohol outdoors within the zones are exempt.

Applications to the City for an alcohol-free zone can be made by members of the community or by 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.

Contacts

Rebecca Martin
Safe City Project Coordinator
02 9265 9477

Last updated: Monday, 24 November 2014