10 August 2012
Under the new Liquor Act there are 2 classes of Hotel Licence being:
1) an unrestricted Hotel Licence and
2) a Hotel Licence designated as a General Bar
We have already received significant interest in the General Bar licence - the majority of which has related to small bars. A Hotel Licence designated as a General Bar does not allow take-away liquor sales, gaming, or KENO or TAB facilities
To date, we have assisted clients in obtaining a number of hotel licences under the new Liquor Act including for premises at Mona Vale, The Rocks and Wollongong and are presently involved in a number of other applications which have yet to be determined.
The process for obtaining this type of licence comprises 2 steps.
The first step involves the preparation of a Category B Community Impact Statement (CIS) which is the more complex form of CIS. This requires service of notice of the proposal on various stakeholders including occupiers' of all buildings situated on land within 100 metres of the proposed premises. Stakeholders then have 30 days to raise concerns. Consultation is then required with any persons who have raised concerns.
After the CIS has been prepared and lodged with the Liquor Authority together with an application for the licence, all of the stakeholders are required to be served with notice of the application and they and any other persons have 30 days to file submissions with the Liquor Authority.
The Authority will eventually review the application and if any submissions have been received these must be responded to before the application is determined.
The Authority can only grant the application if it is satisfied of various matters including that: the overall social impact in granting the application will not be detrimental to the well being of the local community or broader community, if development approval is required from the Local Consent Authority, in respect of the proposed use that such an approval has been obtained; adequate responsible service of alcohol practices will be in place to ensure that liquor is consumed responsibly and to prevent intoxication, and that the proposed licensee is a fit and proper person to be the holder of a licence.
Providing there is not significant opposition to the application including at either the Community Impact Statement stage or the application stage, the costs in obtaining this type of licence are not significant. We note that many of our clients have indicated their surprise at being advised of the costs associated in obtaining a licence as they had assumed that they would be significantly higher.
The length of time to obtain such a licence will depend on the level of concerns/submissions received and the workload of the Authority. However, at present it is taking up to 6 months from commencement of the process until determination of the application.
Depending on the nature of the venue and the facilities to be provided we can also assist with the development application to Council.
Should you be interested in applying for a Hotel Licence designated as a General Bar then please call us for an obligation free quote. The first consultation is free.