Reform to SA liquor laws – CBS news

Following extensive community and industry consultation, new liquor licensing laws have passed Parliament. The first stage of changes commenced on 18 December 2017.

The laws are part of comprehensive reforms to South Australia’s liquor licensing system, aiming to reduce red tape and administrative burden for industry, while strengthening our laws to minimise alcohol related violence.

Consumer and Business Services will work closely with industry bodies and liquor licence holders to ensure a smooth transition.

Future consultation

Further targeted consultation will occur in 2018, focusing on the new fee structure and aspects of the licensing regime, including:

  • new classes of licence, in particular details of the short term licence class
  • the seizure of evidence of age documents
  • disciplinary action before the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner for certain matters
  • minors on licensed premises.

The changes below commenced on 18 December 2017

Supply to minors

There are now stronger penalties for people who illegally supply alcohol to anyone under 18. Big parties and events will be targeted, where large groups of teenagers are supplied with alcohol.

Licensed businesses are still prohibited from supplying alcohol to people under 18 years old.

Entertainment consent

Licensed venues no longer need consent from Consumer and Business Services to host a range of entertainment, including music and comedy.

This makes it easier for businesses to host bands, supporting a vibrant live music scene.

Consent is still required for prescribed entertainment such as boxing, martial arts and sexually explicit entertainment.

Licensed premises must still follow the conditions of their development approval, and any conditions or approvals made under other legislation.

Temporary approval of responsible persons

These reforms streamline the responsible person process and support employment.

Temporary approval of a responsible person is now available for up to 6 months, while the employee undertakes the responsible person vetting process.

This allows employees to start work faster, without businesses needing to wait weeks or months for approval.

Applications to become a responsible person remain the same, with temporary approval being granted once the relevant forms have been lodged.

Individuals can now also apply to become a responsible person, while previously applications could only be made by the licensee employing the person.

The Liquor and Gambling Commissioner can revoke approval of a responsible person at any time.

Licence-holders can search whether a responsible person is approved, temporarily approved or revoked on the CBS website.

Exemptions for low-risk businesses

Low-risk businesses no longer require a liquor licence to treat their clients to a drink, reducing administrative burden and supporting industry.

Exempt businesses can sell or supply liquor without a licence in certain circumstances, including:

  • hairdressers and barbers
  • cruise ships
  • retirement villages
  • businesses selling gifts
  • jewellers
  • patient care accommodation.

The current licence exemption for bed and breakfast style accommodation has also been extended. For example, bed and breakfasts with a capacity of up to 16 guests can now supply alcohol without a licence under certain conditions, while previously this was limited to 8 guests.

Other red-tape reduction

A number of other red-tape reduction measures also came into effect on 18 December:

  • abolishing the requirement for some licensed businesses to provide meals at the request of a member of the public or a lodger
  • removal of designated dining areas, reception areas and sampling areas
  • removal of most notification and advertising requirements that currently apply to licence applications
  • administrative changes to streamline the appointment of inspectors, clarify definitions and allow the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner to publish determinations and exclude information where appropriate.

Stand up drinking

A ban on drinking while standing outside hotels and clubs has been lifted. Licensees who have a condition on their licence requiring patrons to be seated while drinking in outdoor areas can now apply to Consumer and Business Services (CBS) to have the condition removed.

A discounted application fee equivalent to that of an alteration to a licensed premises must be attached to the application.

Help lodging an application

Applicants may wish to contact a solicitor or relevant industry association before making an application.

How to apply

All the relevant forms and other documentation will need to be lodged meeting the minimum requirements when making an application.

Contacting local councils

Applicants will need to contact their local council to obtain approval for the removal of conditions relating to use of areas under council control. A copy of the approval and any conditions imposed must accompany the application to the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner.

Minimum requirements

An application must include the following: