The Liquor Licensing (Liquor Review) Amendment Act 2017 was passed by the South Australian Parliament on 14 November 2017 to implement reforms to liquor licensing in South Australia.
The reforms were developed in response to the 2016 review conducted by retired Supreme Court Judge Tim Anderson QC, which made 129 recommendations to create a modern and flexible licensing system that supports a vibrant hospitality industry, while maintaining a safe drinking culture.
Delivery of the reforms has been divided into three stages to allow for operational changes and further consultation on different aspects of the reforms.
To stay informed about the reforms, all holders of liquor licenses are encouraged to sign up for e-notifications by visiting www.cbs.sa.gov.au/signup.
Stage 1 – December 2017
The first stage of reforms commenced in December 2017, focusing on protecting minors and reducing red tape.
Stage 2 – September 2018
Stage 2 changes create tougher penalties for breaches of the Liquor Licensing Act 1997, expand protections for minors, reduce red tape, and introduce additional changes in the best interest of the community in relation to:
- direct sales
- seizure of evidence of age documents
- dry zones
- welfare barrings
- training requirements
- liquor accords.
Laws have now passed that support the stage 2 reforms, many of which commence 24 September 2018.
Stage 3 – 2019/2020
The State Government delivered the 2018-19 State Budget on Tuesday, 4 September 2018, which includes the introduction of revised liquor licensing fees.
The new fee structure is currently being developed. Fees will not exceed those proposed in Mr Anderson’s report (in many cases, fees are expected to be significantly lower than the fees he recommended and are expected to produce savings in some cases for certain classes of licence).
All current licences will transition to new liquor licence categories, commencing mid-2019.
To assist licensees through the transition of their licences, an easy to use web portal will also be developed.
Consumer and Business Services will continue to work with industry and licensees to provide advice about these changes.