Liquor and Gaming NSW

​Small bars legislation introduced to parliament

Wednesday 20 February, 2013      [PDF,96kb]

Minister for Hospitality, George Souris, has today introduced legislation to allow a new category of liquor licence specifically for small bars.

Known as the Liquor Amendment (Small Bars) Bill 2013, the initiative is part of the NSW Government’s strategy to reduce alcohol-related violence in Kings Cross and to allow people throughout NSW to enjoy a smaller setting

"The Government is fulfilling a promise made last September to create a new class of ‘small bars’ with a maximum of 60 patrons as part of the Kings Cross Plan of Management which encourages investment and diversity for the industry," Mr Souris said.

"The purpose of the new licence is to provide an alternative for patrons who prefer a small, intimate venue and a quiet night out. The introduction of a small bar licence also recognises that larger venues which attract significant numbers of patrons can contribute to alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour".

Mr Souris pointed out that for the first time there will be a legal definition of a small bar and this legislation would limit it to 60 patrons.

"The legislation will cover the entire state and small bars will be exempt from the liquor licence freezes in Kings Cross and Darlinghurst, however small bars established in the expanded Kings Cross Precinct and in Darlinghurst, will be licensed to serve alcohol until midnight. They will however, be able to apply to the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) to stay open for an extra two hours (2am).

"Small bars approved in other parts of the city and state will automatically be allowed to open until 2am.

"Other conditions that apply to small bars are that gaming machines will be prohibited and food must be available. While the venue must be open to the general public, minors will not be permitted within small bars during liquor trading hours.

Existing or proposed general bar licences (other than in the freeze precincts) greater than 60, will continue to be considered under existing provisions.

"The local government development application (DA) process for a small bar will require community consultation and notification by the applicant of the type of business.

"The applicant must also notify the Director General and the Police within 48 hours of lodging the DA. In those circumstances and given the low risk nature of a small bar, a Community Impact Statement is not required.

The Bill provides for the Minister to review the Liquor Amendment (Small Bars) Act 2013 in 2016 when the Government will evaluate the impact of small bars and make changes if necessary.

Media contact: Norm Lipson 0467 734 679