NSW government to lift freeze on new liquor licences in Kings Cross, Sydney CBD
The NSW government will lift the freeze on new liquor licences in Kings Cross and the Sydney CBD from June 1, with a focus on live music, arts and culture.
Minister for Racing, Paul Toole, said it was the first significant change to the liquor licence freeze in Kings Cross and the CBD since 2014.
“New businesses offering live music as well as broader arts and cultural events will be able to apply to open in Kings Cross and the CBD,” he said.
“The NSW government is committed to developing Sydney’s nighttime economy and helping the industry provide more diverse entertainment options.”
The change means the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority can consider new on-premises licence applications for dedicated live music venues as well as venues that host visual or performing arts or other cultural events.
The government is expecting a boom in low-risk venues as a result.
The number of small bars almost doubled since 2016 after the government raised the patron limit from 60 to 100 across the state and extended trading times for small bars in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross from midnight to 2am.
“They are adding to adding to [the] diversity of Sydney’s nightlife,” the minister opined.
30 venues in Kings Cross and the CBD offer live music, according to the government.
They include hotels, bars and nightclubs, and can admit patrons until 2am and serve drinks until 3.30am.
The freeze is not lifted for higher-risk venues as hotels, clubs, bars and traditional nightclubs.
In fact, their freeze was recently extended for a further 12 months to June 1, 2019.
Liquor & Gaming NSW posted on its website: “The extension means the freeze will continue to play an important role in limiting the concentration of higher risk venues in the precincts and helping to reduce alcohol-related violence and other related harms.
“It provides certainty for businesses considering their licensing options.”
Lower-risk venues such as restaurants, cinemas and small bars are already excluded from the liquor licence freeze in the two precincts.