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Prescribed precincts

The NSW Government has identified two designated areas in Sydney that experience high levels of alcohol-related violence. The areas are known as prescribed precincts, and licensed premises within the precinct boundaries have special conditions applied to their licence.

There are approximately 100 venues with special conditions in the Kings Cross precinct, and more than 1,300 in the Sydney CBD entertainment precinct.

Some special conditions apply to higher risk licence types only, whereas others apply to all venues in the precincts.

Part 7 of the Liquor Regulation 2018 (Division 1) sets out most of the special licence conditions and the types of licensed venues they apply to.

Common special conditions which apply to both precincts include:

  • crime scene preservation and notification of violent incidents to police (all venues)
  • exclusion of persons wearing outlaw motorcycle gang colours or insignia (all venues)
  • a ban on high-risk drink promotions (all venues)
  • a ban on high strength drinks and shots from midnight up to 7.00am (all venues except small bars)
  • per-person drink sale limits during late trading (all venues except small bars)
  • 1.30am lockout (except on New Year’s Eve) and 3.00am last drinks requirements (higher risk only) (also see the tailored exemption for live music venues below)
  • ‘round-the-clock’ incident registers (higher risk only)
  • requirements on customers not to enter or attempt to enter certain premises where subject to temporary or long-term banning orders.

Read about the additional special conditions that apply to Kings Cross precinct.

Read about the additional special conditions that apply to Sydney CBD precinct.

Crime scene preservation and notification of violent incidents to police

Immediately after becoming aware that a violent incident has occurred causing injury on the licensed premises, the licensee must ensure that:

  • all reasonable steps are taken to preserve the scene and retain any implement that was used in accordance with guidelines issued by the NSW Police Force relating to the preservation of crime scenes
  • the relevant Police Area Commander or Police District Commander is advised of the incident by a member of the licensee’s staff (which includes a crowd controller or bouncer)
  • any directions given by the Commander to the licensee or staff to preserve the area where the incident occurred are complied with.

Motorcycle organisations

A licensee must not permit any person, who is wearing or carrying any clothing, jewellery or accessories that indicate they are a member of an outlaw motorcycle organisation, to enter or remain in their venue.

Licensees should look out for:

  • the name of any of the following organisations:

Bandidos

Black Uhlans

Brothers for Life

Commancheros

Finks

Fourth Reich

Gladiators

Gypsy Joker

Hells Angels

Highway 61

Iron Horsemen

Life and Death

Lone Wolf

Mobshitters

Mongols

Mongrel Mob

No Surrender and Outlaws

Nomads

Odin’s Warriors

Outcasts

Phoenix

Rebels

Rock Machine

Satudarah

  • the colours, club patch, insignia or logo of any of these organisations, or
  • the 1% or 1%er symbol, or
  • any image, symbol, abbreviation, acronym or other form of writing that indicates membership of, or an association with, any of these organisations.

A ban on high-risk drink promotions

The licensee must not promote or publicise:

  • any free or discounted drinks  – including a shot, shooter or bomb, that are designed to be consumed rapidly on the licensed premises
  • any inducement – such as a prize or free give away, to purchase any drink designed to be consumed rapidly on the licensed premises.

This includes promotion by way of drink cards, flyers, vouchers, social media, website, print media or spruiking.

A ban on high strength drinks and shots from midnight up to 7am (all venues except small bars)

During the late trading period all venues, except small bars, must not serve:

  • any drinks that are designed to be consumed rapidly e.g. shots or shooters
  • any drinks containing more than 50% spirits or liqueur
  • any ready-to-drink beverages with more than 5% alcohol - these are drinks prepared by a manufacturer
  • any drinks prepared by the venue that contains more than 30ml of spirits or liqueur.

The above does not prevent the sale or supply of cocktails, if the cocktail:

  • is included on a publicly displayed cocktail list prepared by the licensee, which itemises the cocktail and the price
  • is not designed to be consumed rapidly.

Between midnight and 3.30am, cocktails must not be discounted below the amount specified on the cocktail list.

Per-person drink sale limits during late trading (all venues except small bars)

The following drink quantity restrictions apply after midnight until closing or 7.00am (whichever is earlier):

  • between midnight and 2am: no more than four alcoholic drinks, or one bottle of wine, can be sold or supplied to the same person at a time
  • between 2am and 7am: no more than two alcoholic drinks can be sold or supplied to the same person at a time
  • if the venue is subject to the last drinks condition, then no alcohol may be sold or supplied between 3am and 5am.

‘Lock out’ of new patrons at 1.30am and last drinks at 3.00am

Most venues in the precincts are not allowed to admit patrons after 1.30am each day of the week, until 5.00am or the authorised opening time, whichever is later.

Patrons on the premises before 1.30am may remain on the premises until close of business, or leave at any time, but they cannot leave and re-enter after 1.30am.

Small bar licensees are able to trade until 2.00am if their development consent allows.

These venues must also cease liquor sale or supply at 3.00am. If a venue is authorised to trade past 3am, the venue may remain open for other purposes, but must not sell or supply liquor. Known as ‘last drinks’, this measure means alcoholic drinks must not be served after 3.00am.

Incident registers

Eligible licensees must maintain a ‘round the clock’ incident register.

Eligible licensees include:

  • Nightclubs
  • Licensed public entertainment venues
  • Licensed karaoke bars
  • Hotels
  • Clubs
  • Small bars
  • Producer / wholesalers
  • Facilities that are regularly used for adult relaxation entertainment.

‘Round the clock’ registers do not need to be maintained by packaged liquor licensees or by most on-premises licensees – including restaurants, cafes, accommodation premises, cinemas and theatres – unless they hold a primary service authorisation.

Temporary banning order

A temporary banning order can be issued by police on-the-spot and bans a person from entering a licensed premises for a period of up to 48 hours.

A police officer, of or above the rank of sergeant, can issue a temporary banning order where a person:

  • refuses or fails to comply with a ‘move-on’ direction to leave a licensed premises or public place in the vicinity of a licensed premises
  • fails to leave a licensed premises after being required to do so because they are intoxicated, violent, quarrelsome or disorderly i.e. ‘fails to quit’
  • contravenes certain provisions relating to the non-voluntary exclusion of persons from licensed premises.

Police must be satisfied that the adverse conduct of the person is likely to continue and cause a public nuisance or risk to public safety.

Maximum penalties of $5,500, or an on-the-spot fine of $550, apply where a person who is subject to a temporary banning order enters or attempts to enter or remain on the licensed premises during the banning period.

Long-term banning orders

The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority Board (ILGA) at the request of the Commissioner of Police, can issue a long-term banning order for up to 12 months.

This happens when ILGA is satisfied that a person:

  • has been charged with, or found guilty of, a serious criminal offence involving alcohol-related violence – whether or not the offence was committed in the Kings Cross precinct
  • has been issued with three temporary banning orders in the previous 12 months.

A person subject to an application for a long-term banning order must be given notification of the application and be provided with a reasonable opportunity to make submissions to ILGA in relation to the application. The person may apply to the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for a review of ILGA’s decision.

Long term banning orders only prevent entry to high risk venues. Maximum penalties of $11,000 or an on- the-spot fine of $2,200 apply where a person, who is subject to a long-term banning order, enters or attempts to enter or remain on any high risk venue during the banning period.

Later lockout / last drinks for live entertainment

From January 2017, live entertainment venues in Kings Cross and the Sydney CBD entertainment precincts can apply for later 2.00am lockout and/or 3.30am last drinks times.

As part of the application process, venues must show they genuinely have a market orientation towards live performances, the arts and cultural events and endeavours.

Venues with an approved extension can admit patrons until 2.00am and/or serve alcohol until 3.30am where they provide live entertainment after midnight.

Live entertainment includes:

  • events where people are engaged to perform live or pre-recorded music, and
  • other performances where performers (or at least some of them) are present in person – for example, theatre, musicals, dance, comedy and variety performances.

A non-refundable fee of $250 applies to all applications. Apply now: Live entertainment exemption application form  (PDF 967.8 KB).

Venues that primarily provide adult entertainment or operate solely as nightclubs are not eligible to apply for the extension.

Other Exemptions

A licensee can apply for an exemption from certain special conditions, such as, prohibiting the use of glass after midnight, restricting the sale of certain drink types, CCTV requirements (for venues which are a licensed restaurant) and ID scanning requirements (in limited circumstances).

The Secretary of NSW Department of Industry will only consider an application where:

  • the exemption is unlikely to result in an increase in alcohol-related violence, anti-social behaviour or other alcohol-related harm in the prescribed precinct in which the licensed premises is located, and
  • other measures are in place that will be effective in reducing the risk of alcohol-related violence or anti-social behaviour in and around the premises.

Fee: A non-refundable fee of $500 applies to all applications.

Apply now:

A penalty notice can be issued for a breach of a liquor licence condition. The maximum court imposed penalty is $11,000, or imprisonment for 12 months, or both.

Strikes

Breaches relating to lockout and last drinks conditions can also be offences that can incur a strike under the Three Strikes Disciplinary Scheme.