Proposed reforms to Local Impact Assessment scheme announced

The NSW Government has announced a range of proposed changes to better protect communities from problem gambling risks, and increase transparency around the application process for additional gaming machines that will go before Parliament today, 6 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, proposed 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 currently classifies all Local Government Areas in NSW based on risks of introducing new gaming machines into the LGA – Band 1 (low risk), Band 2 (medium risk) and Band 3 (high risk).  

The proposed changes would instead classify areas based on their Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2), a geographical boundary set by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. These have between 3,000 and 25,000 people and are  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: