The legislation governing liquor licences in New South Wales is the Liquor Act 2007. The primary object of the legislation is "harm minimisation". Applications for the grant of a liquor licence or the transfer of an existing licence are made to the Casino, Liquor & Gaming Control Authority of New South Wales. Generally prior to grant or transfer of the liquor licence the Authority will require that the licensee and all staff serving liquor have completed a course approved by the Authority dealing with responsible service of alcohol.
Liquor licences may be issued to bona fide catering businesses, rural communities where the local hotel has been lost through closure or removal, functions conducted by bona fide non profit organisations who might hold a dinner, ball, convention, seminar, sporting even, race meeting, trade fair, fete or carnival, hotels, night clubs, large special events. Off licence retail permits the selling of liquor by retail to the public. Vinyerons Licence allows the licensee to sell wine produced at the vineyard. There are also "on licences" which are applicable to aircraft and boats. Of course licences are available to restaurateurs for sale of wine in their restaurants. Licences are also available for theatres, motels, universities and the like.
Licences are invariably granted with conditions and restrictions. A breach of these conditions and restrictions can result in prosecution, disciplinary action, fines, suspension or cancellation of licence and disqualification and disqualification of the licensee. Conditions attached to a licence often relate to the creation of an obligation on the licensee to ensure that the quiet and good order of the neighbourhood is not disturbed. It is normally a condition of a liquor licence that drinking water is available to patrons free of charge. Certain signs are required to be displayed around licensed premises.
Applicants for liquor licences must complete Authority approved courses. The courses are to teach applicants about the liquor laws and the disciplinary conditions for non-compliance. All courses contain Responsible Service of Alcohol Module. There are some exemptions from the course generally relating to people who have had considerable experience or interstate training.
Invariably the grant of a liquor licence will involve payment of a fee. A small initial fee is payable on lodgement of the application for a licence and the balance of the fee is payable on the grant of the licence. In addition to the fee for the grant there are annual fees details of which can be obtained from the Authority.
Applicants for a liquor licence, whether by transfer or grant of a new licence, will be the subjects of a probity check. The applicant is assessed on their fitness and suitability to hold a liquor licence. An assessment is also carried out of the fitness and suitability of close associates of the applicant. These probity checks include a search of past criminal records.
Your premises may be the subject of complaints, which may be initiated by police, local authorities or local residents. The complaints can relate to noise from the premises or disturbance caused by patrons leaving the premises. Complaints can also be based on violent or anti social behaviour of patrons particularly in relation to late trading venues. Complaints are made to the Authority who will send copies to the Local Police and the Local Council.
The Authority will convene a conference of interested parties and you will be entitled to appear and provide a written response to the complaint. At the conference the Authority can impose additional conditions on the liquor licence issue a warning, take no action or even revoke conditions. The effect can be reduction in hours, prohibition of admission of
Patrons after certain times, restricting certain types of entertainment, requiring employment of security guards and other harm minimisation conditions. If you feel that the decision of the Board is unfair or unreasonable then you can appeal to the Authority.