SOUTH Australia Parliament this week passed the Liquor Licensing (Small Venue Licence) Amendment Bill, which amends the Liquor Licensing Act 1997 to provide for a new category of liquor licence aimed at the owners of small venues.
The Small Venue Licence is part of a strategy to increase Adelaide's vibrancy and encourage a small venue culture in the city, which also involves the reinvigoration of the city's laneways, by making it easier for entrepreneurs to set up a variety of licensed businesses in the city.
Minister for Business Services and Consumers, John Rau, said the laws will support small businesses, help to make Adelaide a more vibrant and more interesting place and change the way Adelaide is perceived by many young people.
"It won't just be bars in the city that take up the option of a Small Venue Licence, it could be restaurants, art galleries, live music venues and other new and interesting spaces in the city," Mr Rau said.
The Minister said the Small Venue Licence will also promote competition in the city and increase the number of visitors to the city, resulting in positive flow-on effects for other businesses.
According to the government, the small venue licence will include:
- Standard hours of service will be 11am to midnight on any day (other than Good Friday and Christmas Day), with extensions of opening hours until 2am possible upon application;
- The maximum capacity will be limited to 120 patrons;
- No separate application for entertainment consent will be required (approval at the Commissioner's discretion) for entertainment during standard hours of service; and
- Gaming will not be permitted.
When introducing the Bill late last year, the government said the reforms will initially apply for 12 months within the Adelaide CBD only. However, there was provision in the Bill for the reforms to apply in other areas of the State to be prescribed by regulation.
The Liquor Licensing (Small Venue Licence) Amendment Bill will come into operation on a date yet to be proclaimed.