Important changes to NSW liquor laws ushering the next round of vibrancy reforms will commence on 1 July, to further support the night-time economy and the music and cultural sectors.

Last year the NSW Government introduced its 24 Hour Economy Legislation Amendment (Vibrancy Reforms) Act 2023, comprising a comprehensive package of changes.

While most came into effect on 12 December, several reforms deemed more complex and those involving significant systems changes and consultation, will now commence at the start of July.

Together they make up the NSW Government’s Vibrancy Reforms, aiming to encourage the return of “music, live performance, local street life and a vibrant night-time economy” – without compromising public safety.

The new raft of changes include: 

  • reforms to the process for noise complaints about licensed premises, notably requiring complainants to first address the issue with the venue before lodging a complaint, and increasing the number of people required – who cannot be of the same household or business – to make a statutory disturbance complaint from three to five. Also, order of occupancy will become a key consideration
  • new extended trading applications for hotels that schedule live music or arts and cultural events, with ILGA forced to give due weight to the positive social impacts associated with the events
  • new takeaway alcohol authorisation for restaurants and small bars, allowing limited quantities
  • streamlined consultation processes for liquor licence applications 
  • lower training requirements for licensees re-entering the industry 
  • recognition of interstate digital driver licences as a relevant proof of age document 

Some of the key changes that commenced in December were: the standard trading period for Sundays made 5am to midnight, hotels able to apply for extended trading between midnight Sunday and 5am Monday, and an additional two hours trade for live music and performance venues.

The first of July will also see commencement of reforms for hotels and registered clubs with gaming machines, in further measures to help reduce gambling harm.

All hotels and clubs with EGMs will be required to keep a gambling incident register, and those with more than 20 entitlements must have at least one Responsible Gambling Officer on duty when the machines are operating. 

For further and continued information on changes visit Liquor & Gaming’s What’s Changing webpage.

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