Liquor licensing - by state government Consumer and Business Services
The state’s liquor licensing laws have not been reviewed in their entirety in 20 years.
South Australia (SA) is recognised internationally for its fine food and wine. SA must work to enhance its hospitality industry – delivering more jobs for the state and helping strengthen SA’s reputation interstate and overseas as a great tourist destination.
The state government’s goal is to ensure that its liquor licensing regime:
- reflects contemporary standards and expectations
- ensures there are adequate safeguards in place to protect the public
- reduces red tape and administrative burden for industry.
Visit ‘Liquor licensing reform‘ on the Attorney-General’s website to read more.
After the Bill passes parliament, it is expected that reforms will be implemented in a staged process.
Some of the proposed reforms that are likely to be implemented first include:
- introducing an automatic extension for trading on New Year’s Eve until 2am on New Year’s Day
- a simpler and cost-effective process for people applying to work in the security industry as crowd controllers – removes the need to apply twice to work in a licensed premises
- removing some of the current trading restrictions, including the obligations to provide meals for some new classes of licence
- removing the requirement for entertainment consent other than for prescribed entertainment as defined in the Act
- reforms relating to the Licensing Court of South Australia.
Implemented at later stages
Proposed reforms that are expected to be implemented at later stages will be those that require significant system and operational changes including:
- introduction of a new licensing class system
- increasing efficiency and reducing red tape, particularly during the application process
- replacement of the ‘needs test’ with a test based on community interest.
- additional regulation targeted at underage drinking.
What happens next?
Throughout the reform process, the state government will be working with industry and the community on the introduction of the new laws.
While the introduction of the Bill outlines the legal framework for the new system, there are areas proposed by the independent review that government are still considering. In addition, amendments will be required in the regulations and the Commissioner’s Codes of Practice.
Changes to the regulations and code
Amendments expected to be considered as part of the regulations and code include changes to support the:
- new classes of licence, in particular details of the Short Term Licence class and the new annual fees
- various reforms in the Bill such as minors on licensed premises, the sale of liquor through direct sales – through the internet or by phone – and the new power to enable seizure of an evidence of age document
- requirements relating to responsible service of alcohol training
- the offence of selling or supplying liquor to an intoxicated person.
The government will be consulting with impacted members of the community during the development of the changes to the regulations and Codes of Practice, and further information will be provided at that time.
The state government appointed former Supreme Court Justice, the Honourable Timothy Anderson QC to conduct an independent review into South Australia’s liquor licensing laws. The public were invited to make submissions to a liquor licensing discussion paper that looked at current laws and industry framework.
Mr Anderson’s report was prepared following extensive consultation with the liquor and hospitality industry, local government and other interested groups.
Prior to the introduction of the new Bill in March 2017, the government consulted with the community and stakeholders on proposed changes arising from the review conducted by Mr Anderson.