New food retail and liquor laws come into effect

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 1st July 2008

Changes to the NSW Liquor Act, which reduce red-tape for those seeking liquor licenses, came into effect today, while the ‘name and shame’ legislation is now also able to be enforced.

Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald, said the Food Amendment Act 2007 will formally recognise the food regulation responsibilities of 152 NSW councils and lead to many restaurants being named on the Food Authority website for unsafe or dodgy practices. “Within a year 100s of premises are expected to be named on the Food Authority Website,” he said last month.

“Although local government has for many years inspected and regulated food premises, the new legislation formally recognises their responsibilities, resulting in better co-ordination between councils and the Food Authority, ” Mr Macdonald said. “The name and shame laws mean the details of food premises that receive penalty notices from the Authority and councils for serious food offences will be put on the website.”

Mr Macdonald adds that the changes, proclaimed on May 3, should hold no fears for most businesses.”The overwhelming majority of businesses that do the right thing and observe food safety laws have nothing to fear from these new laws. There are rigorous safeguards in place to ensure minor infringements do not penalise the reputations of businesses. It’s the dubious operators that these new laws will help get caught and outed,” he warned.

The liquor laws, which reduce the price of some liquor licenses and reduce red-tape, have been welcomed by the City of Sydney.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP announced her support of the liquor law changes yesterday. “We hope this change will help deliver Sydneysiders the range of choices that they deserve and which have long been available to residents and visitors in other major capital cities.”

The new Liquor Act 2007 will improve the anti-competitive nature of the hospitality industry by decreasing the cost of licenses and streamlining the application process, while at the same time increasing penalties for venue operators caught doing the wrong thing.

City of Sydney’s Late Night Trading Development Control Plan, which came into effect in January, will compliment the changes to liquor licensing laws by supporting a more diverse and exciting night time economy for the CBD and City Villages.

The City of Sydney reports that they have been contacted by many individuals and businesses for information on setting up small venues, particularly in the laneways of the CBD which have been identified by City Planners as having good potential. “Sustainable Sydney 2030 highlights the need to reactivate parts of the city centre at night and our Late Night Trading Development Control Plan looks at ways to boost and diversify the late night economy by encouraging a better mix of venues,” Ms Moore said. “City of Sydney has identified certain laneways which are appropriate for a mix of activities such as retail and hospitality.”

“Public artworks, street amenity upgrades and small business grants are all possibilities the City is exploring to help reactivate these spaces,” Ms Moore advised.