Liquor and Gaming NSW

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​ID scanners to operate in high risk Kings Cross venues

Wednesday 18 September 2013 

High risk licensed venues in Kings Cross will have to operate identification scanners for most of their operating hours as well as public holidays, special days and the 24 hours preceding those days, Minister for Hospitality, George Souris, announced today.

"The introduction of ID scanners into Kings Cross heralds the roll out of the next phase of the NSW Government’s crackdown on alcohol-fuelled violence," Mr Souris said.

The regulations will require these venues to operate ID scanners:

  • From 7.00pm on Thursdays continuously through to 7.00am on Mondays;
  • On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7.00pm to 7.00am;
  • On public holidays and the preceding evening;
  • On special days, as nominated by the Director General NSW Trade and Investment;
  • The entirety of trading hours for venues which have sustained a Strike under our Three Strikes regime or any venue on list 1 or 2 of the Violent Venues scheme.

"Individuals who think they can go out, get blind drunk and wreak havoc in the Kings Cross need to know it won’t be tolerated – and under this tough new plan, they can be banned from the precinct.

"In addition to the tough new measures announced today, the NSW Government has introduced the Three Strikes policy, recruited an additional 420 police officers, given police additional ‘move on’ powers, introduced a new offence of intoxicated and disorderly offence and launched a trial of sobering up centres.

"The NSW Government continues to target alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour in Kings Cross and statistics suggest it’s having an impact.

According to OLGR data, since the NSW Government’s first phase of measures came into effect in December 2012, there has been a 33 per cent reduction in violent incidents in licensed premises on the previous year.

"There will be a number of safeguards to ensure the integrity of the ID scanning system and to protect personal data captured by the system, with significant penalties for non-compliance," Mr Souris said.

"It will require licensees and staff operating ID scanners in high risk venues to undergo privacy training, which will be endorsed on their RSA competency card. Licensees will be required to prepare and implement an approved privacy management plan and policy.

"The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority will also be able to suspend or revoke a person’s RSA competency card a person has breached the privacy or responsible service of alcohol requirements when they are working in Kings Cross.

"It is anticipated the ID scanners will begin operating in time for the peak summer trading period." Mr Souris said.

Mr Souris said 35 high risk venues had been identified by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) and Police. There will be some exemptions for accommodation hotels and fine dining restaurants.

"High risk venues will be those that trade after midnight, have a capacity of more than 120 patrons, or are designated as such by the Director General of NSW Trade & Investment with the agreement of the Police Commissioner".

Mr Souris pointed out that last month he introduced to Parliament the

Liquor Amendment (Kings Cross Plan of Management) Bill 2013, which:

  • Requires the introduction of ID scanners in high-risk venues;
  • Enhances banning orders in the Kings Cross precinct;
  • Allow for irresponsible bar staff to have their Responsible Service of Alcohol cards revoked or cancelled;
  • Requires approved managers to be present in high risk licensed venues to assist in supervising and managing the conduct of the business;
  • Requires hours of operation signs to be displayed by licensed venues.

"We expect that these added measures will make Kings Cross even safer for the public," Mr Souris said.