The first major changes to South Australia’s liquor licensing system in nearly two decades have passed State Parliament, paving the way for a simpler, more effective system.

The changes include:

  • New licensing categories, aimed at simplifying the process for venues and events to apply for a licence
  • Tougher laws around the secondary supply of alcohol to minors, where a person who supplies alcohol to the minor in contravention of the new laws will face a maximum penalty of $10,000 and expiation fee of $500. A minor who consumes or has possession of alcohol in contravention of the new laws will also face a maximum penalty of $2,500 and expiation fee of $210
  • Cutting red tape for new and existing licensees
  • Removing outdated restrictions on the sale of liquor on Sundays, Christmas Day, Good Friday, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
  • Abolishing the anti-competitive “needs test”

The reforms will be implemented in phases, with consultation to take place with industry on some key elements of the reform prior to their implementation.

Background

Changes to the Liquor Licensing Act were developed in response to a review conducted by retired Supreme Court Judge Tim Anderson QC.

Mr Anderson’s review was released in July last year and made 129 recommendations to improve the State’s liquor licensing regime to reduce red tape, promote safe drinking and encourage new business models.

The vast majority of these were accepted in full, with some either accepted in part or in principle.

Quotes attributable to Consumer and Business Services Minister John Rau

This is a welcome step forward for our State’s liquor laws.

These changes help modernise our licensing regime and better reflect both community expectations and changes to the sector over the past two decades.

By streamlining our application processes and licenses, we are supporting and encouraging new businesses helping to contribute to Adelaide’s vibrant nightlife.

We’re maintaining a strong level of regulation, to ensure public safety and a safe drinking culture.