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19 February 2016

Annual liquor licence fee and red tape reforms - February 2016​

In February 2016, the NSW Government introduced reforms to the liquor laws to refine the annual liquor licence fee arrangements, reduce red tape for liquor licensees, and extend a freeze on liquor licences in the Sydney CBD.

Annual liquor licence fees

Refinements have been made to annual liquor licence fee to improve its administration and ensure fees are fairly and reasonably applied. The changes will deliver immediate improvements for the 2016 payment cycle. As part of the changes, a compliance history risk loading will also not apply in 2016. Read more about annual liquor licence fees.​

A broader review of the fee arrangements is being undertaken in 2016 as part of the liquor law review recently announced by the NSW Government. Read more about the Independent Liquor Law Review.

Biennial returns no longer r​​​equired

Licensees are no longer required to submit a biennial return, providing information relating to their liquor licences. This means that licensees will not need to complete the return that would have next been due before 31 March 2016.

Australia Post's Keypass identity now recognised as evidence of age

From 1 March 2016, licensed venues in NSW can accept Australia Post's Keypass identity card as evidence of age for patrons. The card displays a person's photo, name, address, date of birth and signature.

This change will provide young adults with an additional option to prove they are 18 years of age or over. The card is also used for this purpose in most other Australian states and territories.

Australia Post offers two different types of Keypass identity cards, including separate "Over 18" and "Under 18" cards. The "Over 18" Keypass identity card is differently coloured (in blue) so that it can be clearly distinguished.

Further information on the Keypass identity card is available at Australia Post's website.

Extension of the liquor licence freeze for 12 months

On 6 February 2016, the NSW Government announced it will extend the liquor licence freeze applying in the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD Entertainment precincts for a further year until February 2017. Read the media release on the extension of the liquor licence freeze.

The freeze has been extended in the Sydney CBD Entertainment precinct until 19 February 2017. Arrangements are being made to implement the Government's decision to similarly extend the Kings Cross liquor licence freeze. Further information will be available on our website shortly.

The above reforms are included in the Liquor Amendment (Fees and Other Matters) Regulation 2016, which commenced on 19 February 2016. The Regulation has been published on the NSW Legislation website.