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Liquor licences for Surf Clubs

There are two licences that are available to surf clubs:

1. Limited licence - multi function

This licence allows surf clubs to sell alcohol during their approved club functions, as well as during their social functions.

  • surf clubs can sell alcohol at club functions that have been approved by L&GNSW
  • up to 52 club functions can be approved for each 12-month period
  • alcohol can be sold for consumption on the surf club’s premises during a function
  • trading hours are determined by L&GNSW for each approved function.

2. On-premises licence

Under this licence, surf clubs can hire out their premises and sell alcohol at those events. An on-premises licence can also be used to sell liquor at the club’s own functions and social events.

Applying tips:

Your application can take longer to review if we don’t have all the details we need to assess it. We will come back to you to obtain the missing information to progress your application. You can help us speed up the process by:

  • Providing all the correct information at the time you apply
  • Responding to our request for missing information as soon as possible after we contact you.

The information below will help you to prepare your application and gather all the necessary materials for your licence. However, if you're ready now...

Apply online

Under a limited licence, surf club social functions:

  • must be organised by the surf club
  • must be held on a weekend or public holiday but not Christmas Day
  • must be held in as an activity associated with surf life saving
  • must provide at least 14 days’ notice to L&GNSW, the local police and the local council  - one notice can cover multiple functions
  • must be held on the club’s premises - if the club has several premises, it can only be held on its primary premises
  • are open to members of the club and their guests only
  • are included in a register kept on the premises that includes details of the function
  • must have been approved by a resolution recorded in the records of the governing body of the club
  • must make available food of a nature and quantity consistent with the responsible sale, supply and service of alcohol
  • must not provide alcohol at the function before 12 noon or after 10pm and must not be available at the function for more than four hours
  • have a licensee on site to ensure adequate adult supervision is maintained at any time when persons under the age of 18 years are on the premises during the social function
  • permit police and inspectors access to the premises.

Under an on-premises licence: 

  • the surf club cannot operate as a bar. The sale or supply of alcohol must not be the primary purpose of the  business or activity carried out on premises
  • the licence will specify what activity is carried out – i.e. surf club and/or catering service
  • standard trading hours are 5am to midnight, Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 10pm on Sunday
  • an extended trading authorisation can be approved to allow trading outside the standard hours
  • a community impact statement (CIS) must be prepared with an application for an extended trading authorisation.
  • on Good Friday and Christmas Day alcohol can only be sold for consumption on the premises from noon-10pm and only with or ancillary to a meal served in the dining area
  • on New Year’s Eve alcohol may be sold from the start of the standard trading period until 2am the next day - unless other extended trading hours have been approved
  • food of a nature and quantity consistent with the responsible sale, supply and service of alcohol must be available whenever alcohol is sold.

The licence you apply for will determine on your trading hours.

Limited licence: trading hours are determined by L&GNSW  for each approved function.

On-premises licence: standard trading hours are 5.00am to midnight, Monday to Saturday, and 10.00am to 10.00pm on Sunday

Daily 6-hour closure period

A 6-hour closure period applies to all liquor licences, including those with extended trading hours. It usually starts at 4.00am and ends at 10.00am each day.

You can apply to change the 6-hour closure period:

  • temporarily
  • permanently
  • to different times on different days of the week.

In your application, you need to provide detail on:

  • the current and proposed hours of closure, and why the closing period should be changed
  • the demonstrated or likely needs of patrons
  • the interests of the local community
  • the opinion of local police on the proposal, if any
  • ways you will minimise harm associated with misuse and abuse of alcohol - including harm arising from violence and other anti-social behaviour
  • ways you will promote, sell and supply alcohol safely and responsibly
  • ways the proposal will not detract from the amenity of community life.


​Licensees and all staff involved in the selling, service or supply of alcohol need to have completed a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course and hold a valid NSW competency card.

This requirement also applies to security staff and promotional staff conducting tastings on the premises.

The Liquor Regulation 2018 introduced an additional two compulsory courses for licensees and managers: Licensee training and Advanced licensee training.

It is best practice to keep copies of your and your staff’s qualifications in a register on the premises.

Development or planning approval may be required from the local council for a surf club that wishes to obtain an on-premises licence.

Special permission may also be needed for surf clubs on Crown land that wish to obtain an on-premises licence.

Before making your application: 

  • Contact the local council to secure any development approvals that are required
  • Contact Crown Lands to notify the Minister that you’re making an application on Crown Land for an on-premises licence.

​​​The law requires that all types of licensed venues display liquor signs. This includes a number of compulsory signs, depending on which licence and authorisations you have.

Your application costs include:

  • an application fee
  • a non-refundable processing fee.

Use our Liquor Fee Schedule to calculate your fee.

Ongoing licence fees

A limited and on-premises licence are both subject to annual liquor licence fee, due in April each year. Read more about annual liquor licence fees.

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You must be 18 years or older and authorised to lodge this licence application.

Apply online

Create a OneGov account to apply online for a new licence or maintain your existing licence online.

Apply offline

Note: Processing times take longer with offline forms and do not attract the 10% discount for online applications.

Advantages to lodging your application online:

  • you receive a 10% discount
  • the online form is easier to complete
  • it speeds up processing time.

Next steps

Once your application is lodged, we will advertise it on the Liquor and Gaming Application Noticeboard for 30 days. The community can comment on your application, as well as people who were consulted as part of the CIS process, if applicable.

We're here to help. 

Use our online feedback form to send us your questions, suggestions or feedback. You can also:

Call: 1300 024 720 | Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm


Access the Liquor Act 2007 and the Liquor Regulation 2018 at