By Michael Blong | Senior Consultant
While there has been considerable media comment about whether this legislative amendment will proceed, it is best that you prepare and be ready to comply from the required date.
If you are located inside a 3am Safe Night Precinct (SNP):
A ‘lock out’ will apply from 1am (Regardless of whether you are licensed to trade until 2am or 3am).
No patrons will be permitted to enter (or re-enter if they leave the venue) between 1am and 3am.
The latest time you can lawfully serve or supply liquor is 3am.
Patrons will have a 30 minute ‘grace’ period (from 3am to 3:30am) to finish consuming their drinks.
Patrons will be permitted to re-enter your venue after 3am and you can serve them food and non-alcoholic beverages. You will also be able to provide entertainment and authorised gaming facilities (as per the authorised hours on your Gaming Machine Licence).
Matters to consider
It would be wise to consider erecting some appropriate signage in and around your venue to start educating your patrons about the new requirements and how you are going to manage them. (The OLGR has some signage available to be downloaded from their website).
You should encourage your staff and security to start mentioning and discussing the upcoming changes with patrons (at suitable times) as this may also help with the introduction of the ‘lock out’.
If it is your intention to utilise the ability to allow re-entry after the liquor licensed trading hours have ceased (at 3am) then consider some form of promotional material to advise your patrons of this option.
Remember, if you do this, that patrons may gather outside your venue until they can re-enter post 3am and you need to consider your obligations under Liquor Act 1992, s142ZZB (1) Providing and maintaining a safe environment in and around the relevant premises and (3) Taking all reasonable steps to ensure the behaviour of persons entering or leaving the premises does not adversely affect the amenity of the area in which the premises is located.
If you are located inside a 2am Safe Night Precinct:
There is no ‘lock out’ provision.
The latest time you can lawfully serve or supply liquor is 2am.
Patrons will have a 30 minute ‘grace’ period (from 2am to 2:30am) to finish consuming their drinks.
After 2am your venue can remain open and you can provide food and non-alcoholic beverages and you can also provide entertainment and authorised gaming (as per the authorised hours on your Gaming Machine Licence).
Other licensed trading hours and non-SNP areas:
If you are only authorised to trade until 12midnight or 1am then these trading hours will still apply, even though you may be in a precinct (SNP) which is authorised to trade until later.
If you wish to be able to trade until the later (Precinct approved) times, then you will have to lodge an application for Extended Trading Hours.
If you are licensed to supply liquor until 12 midnight or 1am and you are not located in a SNP then things remain as they are. However, you can also consider allowing re-entry after your licensed trading hours and provide food, non-alcoholic beverages and entertainment.
For further information on the impending legislative changes or if you have any questions regarding your liquor licence, contact Michael Blong at email@example.com or on (07) 3878 9355.