Reforms to Local Impact Assessment scheme announced

The NSW Parliament has passed a range of proposed changes to better protect communities from problem gambling risks, and increase transparency around the application process for additional gaming machines in March 2018.

The changes follow a Liquor & Gaming NSW review of the Local Impact Assessment (LIA) scheme, which assesses the impact of introducing additional gaming machines into a local community.

Following feedback from community and industry, changes to the LIA scheme include:  

  • Stronger harm minimisation measures: including a cap on the number of gaming machines allowed in high risk areas and new measures to target potential harms in more localised areas.
  • Improved community engagement and consultation: more community organisations would be notified when a gaming machine application is made and longer community consultation periods would be provided.
     
  • Clearer advice and guidelines for industry:  more detailed information would be provided throughout the LIA application and decision-making process.

The LIA scheme previously classified all Local Government Areas (LGAs) in NSW based on risks of introducing new gaming machines into the LGA. LGAs were ranked into three bands – Band 1 (low risk), Band 2 (medium risk) and Band 3 (high risk).  

Under the reforms, the banding system has remained in place, however, the LIA scheme now classifies areas based on their Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2), a geographical boundary set by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. These are smaller than LGAs and have between 3,000 and 25,000 people. They have been designed to represent how a community interacts together economically and socially.

These SA2s would be ranked according to the likely risk of gambling-related harm in the community from additional gaming machines. The smaller SA2 community boundaries would allow the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority to more accurately understand the impact of additional gaming machines in communities across NSW.

More information:

Local Impact Assessment:

SA2 Bands: