REFORMS TO LIQUOR LICENSING LAWS – MY SUBMISSION
These changes are, on the whole fine if one wants to to cut red tape for the industry. However, my concern is that what works well in the entertainment hub in the city will not necessarily work well when a licensed premises is based in a residential area, or next to one.
These changes need to be considered in that light. Also, so I am suggesting that, like the small bar provisions (which have worked well), that these changes only apply to the CBD for now where it impacts on opening hours, or other provisions may affect the amenity of the area.
Changes to allow entertainment at any trading hour, or to allow alcohol purchases without a meal (a backdoor to turning a restaurant into a bar), or automatic extensions to trading hours are NOT welcome in the suburbs, unless the premises are in a non-residential area or not cause loss of amenity to one.
I shall use some real life examples in my local area – The Grand North Tavern could operate longer hours with entertainment with little impact on the local residents due to its distance from them and being across a major road. The Oakden Central at Oakden has hundreds of residences within 150m west of its location in Northgate that can hear considerable noise from its currently operating function centre, and has to put up with patrons leaving the gaming lounge up until 2am, often drunk and disorderly. The OG Hotel in Klemzig operates pokies and bar until 4am, its bottle shop until midnight and causes no issues of which I am aware to any residents as the closest is over 200m away and buffered by main roads and business premises.
My suggestion to both fix current issues and prevent further problems is for suburban licensing issues to be handled by Councils who are more in tune with local conditions. If not, then they will need to be licensed differently to meet the requirements of the Community Impact & Public Interest Test, which some already do not.
Recommendation 69 removing a Council’s right to object is a poor decision, being that Councils are often the only body residents can turn to when they have an issue with liquor licensing issues. This will leave residents no other choice than to go to their local MPs instead, creating a larger workload for them. Please do not change these provisions.
My submission is made as that of a local government Councillor with over 25 years experience in that role, but also as someone who has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years (I have an RSA) including sporting clubs, events and indoor/outdoor functions.
What do you think?