Liquor & Gaming NSW is offering a three-month free and streamlined assessment review for licensees to request the removal or variation of outdated or irrelevant licence conditions for live music and entertainment.
The measure aims to support the live music and entertainment industries, and enable venues to update their business models to reflect changing community tastes and engage a wide variety of musicians and live performers.
The NSW Government is committed to streamlining regulation of licensed venues to help create safe, diverse and vibrant entertainment options.
Some licences have historically had conditions imposed relating to music and other live entertainment that restricted the genres of music a venue can offer as well as the types of instruments played and number of performers allowed on stage.
In many cases, these types of conditions were imposed many years ago due to specific issues arising at a venue at the time.
Venues may also have nominated particular types of entertainment when applying for a liquor licence, with the details listed as conditions of the licences ever since.
These conditions often now serve no valid purpose and can unnecessarily prevent venues from offering new and different types of live entertainment.
For example, 'a country and western only' music condition would prevent a bar from offering jazz nights or playing 80s music for birthday parties.
Such conditions are no longer imposed on liquor licences.
From 1 December 2018 to 28 February 2019, eligible venues can submit a request to Liquor & Gaming NSW to have music-related conditions removed or revoked.
The usual $110 fee to make an application to change a licence condition will be waived and processes for some applications will be streamlined for faster outcomes.
The public will still have the opportunity to comment on any proposals to remove or vary conditions through the Application Noticeboard. Local police, councils and neighbouring premises within 50 metres will be notified of a request being made.
Noticeboard periods will range from 14–30 days depending on the type of condition being reviewed.
Further details, including a request form, will be available shortly on the Liquor & Gaming NSW website.
The three-month review is available for specific types of conditions that can be considered to unnecessarily restrict live entertainment and music in venues, including:
Conditions covering other issues relating to entertainment and music are out of scope for the three-month review, include:
Licensees can always apply for a change to these broader types of conditions, if they wish to have them reconsidered, through the normal 'change to licence condition' process. A standard $110 application fee applies.
Venues will need to make separate applications to their local council to have development consent conditions varied or lifted.
Liquor & Gaming NSW has no power to remove conditions in development consents.
However, we encourage councils to also take a flexible approach when assessing any applications from venues to remove or vary these consent conditions.
Applications will still be subject to community notification requirements and posted on the Application Noticeboard. Notice periods will range from 14–30 days depending on the type of condition being reviewed.
Liquor & Gaming NSW aims to have applications decided within 120 days of receipt. The three month period of the assessment review (from 1 December to 28 February) refers to the time applications can be lodged. Processing times will vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the application.
All requests for review will need to be considered on their individual merits, and in line with the objectives of the Liquor Act 2007.
For instance, decision-makers will need to take into account:
As far as possible, streamlined processes will be adopted for removal or variation of genre and format restrictions. However, if local stakeholders raise any valid objections, processing times may be longer.