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7 June 2019

Evaluation finds incident registers help venues improve safety

We have evaluated the requirement for some licensed venues to maintain an incident register. In response to the evaluation recommendations, a number of enhancements will be made to the requirement to improve the value of incident registers for businesses and regulators.

Read more about our findings and recommendations in our evaluation report.

What changes have been made to the incident register requirement in response to the evaluation?

The most significant outcomes of the evaluation were implemented via the new Liquor Regulation which took effect on 1 September 2018. These were:

  • Removal of the ‘round-the-clock’ incident register requirement for Sydney CBD and Kings Cross venues with an on-premises licence - except for nightclubs, karaoke bars, adult entertainment venues, and venues with a primary service authorisation (see clause 96(5)(b) of the Liquor Regulation 2018). These venues are now subject to the standard incident register requirement that applies generally to venues across NSW.
  • The requirement to record incidents relating to illicit drugs now includes any incident that involves the possession or use on the premises of any substance that the licensee suspects of being a prohibited plant or drug (see clause 42(b) of the Liquor Regulation 2018).

The report also contains a recommendation that venues enter a full account of an incident into the register at the latest by the end of the shift, rather than within six hours (as is currently stated in our guidelines for incident registers). This responded to concerns from venues that the six hour requirement was difficult in some circumstances.

What else will Liquor & Gaming NSW do to respond to the evaluation recommendations?

  • Review incident register resources to ensure they effectively explain legislative and regulatory requirements in a way that assists licensees and enforcement officers.
  • Better promote the benefits of incident registers.
  • Investigate options for reducing duplication and administrative burden where separate registers are required under the liquor and security industry laws.
  • Consult with industry and NSW Police to:
    • improve the format of the incident register books
    • investigate how to better promote and support the adoption of online incident registers
    • further consider the adequacy of the requirement to report incidents of which the “licensee is aware” which involve violence or anti-social behaviour occurring in the immediate vicinity of the licensed premises and that involves a person who has recently left, or been refused admission to, the premises.

Key findings from our evaluation

The evaluation found incident registers:

  • are generally meeting their policy objectives in helping venue operators gain a better understanding of circumstances that affect venue and patron safety, and implement strategies to reduce risks and improve safety
  • are also assisting NSW Police and L&GNSW with investigations and other compliance activities.

Find out more about incident registers.