Staying out of the licensing cross-fire

liquor licencing crossfireViolence, drugs and public disorder. Not exactly your typical community club scene, but it continues to be a reality for any venue offering a nightlife hub with alcohol.

Venues in Sydney’s Kings Cross precinct are now under ‘special licence conditions’ whereby they must close one hour before their approved trading closing hour on weekends, introduce round-the-clock incident registers, banned from serving shots, cocktails over 30ml spirits, RTDs over 5% and must uphold a full ban on glass after midnight.

These restrictions follow the passing of the Liquor Amendment Bill 2012 in parliament in November, despite a drop of 37% in incidents for the Kings Cross area. Strict measures such as this highlight the importance of ensuring you run a safe venue to avoid getting caught up in both a legal and media storm.

Apart from avoiding a reputation in the local community as being a ‘rough-joint’, if you are thinking about applying for extended trading hours, then the safety of your venue is hugely important. As well as the obligation to ensure patron safety and avoid legal action, venues need to be proactive in developing and reviewing safety initiatives and preparing a robust risk strategy to protect their licence. The authorities look favourably on venues that are proactive in maintaining a clean bill of health and reducing their risk for incidents and hazards.

Safety in community clubs and pubs also includes managing car park safety, patron behaviour and alcohol consumption in and around the licensed premise which regularly relates to “the vicinity” which is defined by line of sight from the venue.

A professional risk assessment audit for your venue will ensure that you have covered the key areas of the business and developed a strategy for becoming compliant with legislation.

Talk to Danny Nixon-Smith about how we can assist with a risk assessment audit and help you to stay out of the cross fire with a clear safety strategy for your venue.

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