Liquor and Gaming NSW

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Lockout to commence from 24 February

Issued:Wednesday 5 February 2014 

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell today announced some of the major measures in the NSW Government’s comprehensive package to target drug and alcohol-fuelled violence will commence on Monday 24 February.

From that date, 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks in the Sydney CBD Entertainment and Kings Cross Precincts and a statewide ban on takeaway alcohol from 10pm will come into force.

"Recent violent incidents have demanded strong action – the NSW Government is determined to put in place these measures as soon as possible to make our streets safer and tackle drug and alcohol abuse in our community," Mr O’Farrell said.

"Venues and patrons now have time to ensure they are fully aware of these changes and are ready when they take effect on 24 February."

The legislative measures which will come into effect on 24 February include:

  • Creation of the new Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct;
  • 1.30am lockouts enforced at hotels, registered clubs, nightclubs and karaoke bars across the Sydney CBD Entertainment and Kings Cross Precincts;
  • 3am cease service of alcohol in those venues across the Sydney CBD Entertainment and Kings Cross Precincts;
  • Introduction of temporary banning orders for troublemakers in the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct;
  • A freeze on new liquor licences and approvals for existing licences across the new Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct; and
  • A ban on takeaway alcohol sales after 10pm across NSW.

"The NSW Government makes no apologies for these tough measures – businesses and patrons will need to adjust to the changes because improving the safety and amenity of the CBD is in everyone’s interests," Mr O’Farrell said.

"I expect the vast majority of venues will do the right thing and implement the new trading conditions without incident. However, any failure to comply can result in fines of up to $11,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months – and is an offence that can incur a strike under the NSW Government’s Three Strikes disciplinary scheme.

"NSW Police and inspectors from the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing will be out to ensure compliance with the new restrictions – their job will be made much easier with full cooperation from venues and patrons," Mr O’Farrell said.

The new Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct stretches from parts of Surry Hills in the south to The Rocks in the north and from Kings Cross in the east to Cockle Bay.

From 24 February, patrons and licensees across the Sydney CBD Entertainment and Kings Cross Precincts must comply with a 1.30am lockout and 3am cease alcohol service.

That means patrons must be inside a licensed venue by 1.30am or they won’t be permitted entry. If a patron leaves or is ejected from a licensed venue after 1.30am then they cannot re-enter the venue or get into any other licensed venue in the precincts.

At 3am alcohol service will cease at licensed venues across the precincts - patrons can remain on the premises until closing time and enjoy food, non-alcoholic beverages and entertainment.

The lockout and cease alcohol measures exclude small bars (<60 patrons), restaurants and tourism accommodation establishments.

The 24 February introduction date will allow licensed venues time to adjust their operations and ensure appropriate staff training and procedures are in place to comply with the new measures.

An information and awareness campaign targeting both licensed venues and consumers will be rolled out to alert them to the new restrictions. This will include direct notification to affected licensees, briefings for liquor accords and industry peak bodies, signage and flyers for licensed venues, and advertising.

A Plan of Management is being developed for the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct which will impose additional special licence conditions on venues in the precinct from April. These measures could include a range of conditions such as bans on glass, drink restrictions and requirements for RSA marshals.

Free buses running every ten minutes from Kings Cross to the CBD to connect with existing NightRide services on Friday and Saturday nights have already commenced.

ENDS