Draft Liquor Licence Policy for Discussion at OCA meeting February 2020

The purpose of this draft policy is to provide a framework upon which future liquor licence and gambling applications are made for the neighbourhood of Observatory.

It is acknowledged that there are many existing liquor licences, as well as gambling licences in current use in Observatory.  The high density of liquor licences in the area is proving to be problematic for local residents, primarily due to the close proximity of residential properties to liquor licences establishments.  The resulting noise and anti-social behaviour by patrons does impact on the quality of life of residents.  At the same time, it must be acknowledged that Observatory does have a particular character which includes the LMR strip and the Main Road strip of entertainment establishments, all of which make it a very attractive suburb for students.


On Consumption Licences

These will be approved under the following conditions:

  1. The establishment offers food as a core part of their business proposal i.e. is a restaurant
  2. The licence holder is in good standing and has met with a representative of the OCA sub-committee dealing with liquor licences to explain their business model and to understand the concerns of the community.
  3. Late trading licences are not acceptable – latest closure time should be 02h00.
  4. If an establishment is going to provide music, the establishment must be properly sound proofed so as to insulate the surrounding residents.
  5. If the establishment has an outdoor drinking and eating area that is close to residential properties, the establishment should close this area at 22h00.
  6. If the establishment is going to host special events i.e. parties, open mic nights, live music, DJ’s…. the surrounding neighbours should be informed about the event and an event licence must be obtained
  7. Establishments must undertake to educate their patrons when they leave the establishment through appropriate notices requesting patrons to be mindful of the local residents.


Renewal of liquor licences

The annual renewal of a liquor licence is an automatic process if the establishment pays the liquor licence fee.  However, if there is a record of poor behaviour by the establishment, this may be used against the establishment when a report is compiled in June each year.

Such reports may contain evidence (factual and with supporting photographs or affidavits) of:

  • Noise complaints
  • Illegal trading – late trading without a licence, liquor sales without the appropriate licence
  • Unruly behaviour by patrons leading to complaints (i.e. linked to crime or violence)
  • The establishment does not engage with local residents positively, and does not respond adequately to problems that arise


Off Consumption Licences (liquor stores)

These will be approved under the following conditions:

  1. Trading will be limited to 20h00 daily
  2. The establishment does not sell cheap plastic bottle wine (this is the wine that is commonly purchased and consumed by streetpeople). See notes below
  3. The establishment will not give credit on the sale of liquor or hold a person’s ID book as surety for payment.


Micro manufacture

  1. Micro brewery, micro distillery – supported but on and off consumption sales restricted as above
    2. No macro scale brewery distillery (very unlikely anyway)


Mitigating factors

  1. Existing license holder in good standing with the community?
    2. License in existing high traffic business area (does not increase geographic spread of licenses)


Gambling Licences

A policy must be developed around this issue


Notes regarding Off consumption:

There is a serious and ongoing problem with people lying paralytic\comatose on the street with an empty plastic bottle of very cheap wine next to them.  The sale of this type of product leads to social problems and has an impact on residents and other businesses.

The OCA will engage with all off-consumption license holder, requesting them to stop selling this type of product and for renewals (for all license holders asking for extended trading hours), the OCA will not support extended trading hours for license holders that sell these products.