Licensees have certain obligations to make sure any negative impact on local residents or businesses in their community is minimised. They must also ensure that their licensed premises contributes to, and does not detract from, the comfort of the community.
You can take action against licensed premises that have a negative impact on your neighbourhood. The Secretary of the NSW Department of Industry has the authority and a range of enforcement options to deal with disturbance complaints against licensed premises.
It’s reasonable to expect some level of noise or activity from licensed venues due to people arriving and leaving, or in the general operation of the venue.
A disturbance is likely to be one two things, or both:
The simplest way to resolve a local disturbance is to speak with the licensee of the venue as soon as possible. Any reasonable concern raised by local residents and businesses about neighbourhood disturbances are taken seriously by a licensed venue.
When you experience a disturbance:
The best thing about approaching venues directly is that it allows them to use your feedback to improve what they do. It also encourages them to deal with issues quickly, and this can improve relationships between locals and the venue.
You can ask for advice from someone who can help mediate and find a solution that works for you and the venue. This works best when:
Contact our Compliance Operations Unit
We are able to provide assistance with disturbance concerns in limited circumstances. If a venue does not have noise restriction conditions on their liquor licence, your local council or NSW Police would likely be more effective in addressing your concerns.
Raise a general disturbance concern through our our online feedback form or call 1300 024 720.
Contact your local police
Police may also be able to provide advice and assist in resolving general disturbance concerns. A local licensing officer would have a working relationship with all licensed venues in your area and may suggest an appropriate resolution to general disturbance concerns.
Contact your local council
Often licensed venues have noise control measures as part of their development consent. You can ask your local council about these.
You can lodge a formal complaint, free of charge, with the Secretary, NSW Department of Industry, via L&GNSW if Step 1 or Step 2 was not successful.
We strongly encourage that you include your personal details so we’re able to follow up with you, however you are able to withold your details if you are not comfortable providing them.
After receiving a formal complaint, the Secretary considers the best way to deal with the issue. This could include:
Others, such as police and local council representatives, may also provide information, give their view, and offer advice on how to deal with the issue.
The Secretary gives all parties a fair chance to voice their opinion. We always observe the principles of natural justice and due process. The Secretary decides if your neighbourhood is being unfairly disturbed.
The Secretary can use different legal tools to resolve a disturbance complaint. This can lead to a range of outcomes, which are adapted to the particular circumstances of the complaint.
Where we reach a conclusion under the disturbance complaint rules of the Liquor Act, the Secretary can:
The types of conditions we can impose on a liquor licence include:
The Secretary will take a range of information into account before making a decision, including:
There is no set time. It depends on how many issues and people are involved in the complaint. The legal options available to the Secretary means we can take action quickly, if it's necessary.
Yes. Depending on how the Secretary resolves a complaint, you can request a review by the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority Board (ILGA).
Post: Compliance Branch | Liquor & Gaming NSW | GPO Box 7060 | Sydney NSW 2001In person: L&GNSW | Level 6, 323 Castlereagh St | Haymarket NSW 2000E: email@example.com