Safe night precinct local boards

Local boards promote the safety of the community and the precinct's amenity by developing and implementing initiatives to minimise harm, and the potential for harm, from the abuse and misuse of alcohol and drugs and related violence. They also liaise with and support community organisations that provide rest and recovery services in the precinct for people who have consumed alcohol or drugs.

Local boards are not responsible for the actions of individual licensees or government agencies.

Safe night precinct local board members

Members of safe night precinct (SNP) local boards can include:

  • licensees of premises within the SNP
  • owners or operators of other businesses located within the SNP
  • associations that represent the interests of businesses located within the SNP (e.g. Chamber of Commerce)
  • community organisations that provide services within the SNP
  • other classes of persons as prescribed under the Liquor Regulation 2002 (there are currently none prescribed).

Unless exempt, a licensee in a SNP must become a member of the local board, where one exists. When a local board is first prescribed, the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) will write to each licensee that is required to become a member. The licensees are then required to apply for membership within 28 days.

Non-exempt licensees who are licensed after a SNP board is formed are required to apply for membership within 28 days of becoming licensed. While the Liquor Act 1992 does not require the licensee to receive written notification of the requirement to join, to assist licensees in meeting their obligations, OLGR will seek to notify licensees in these instances.

While exempt licensees are not required to be members of the local board, they can (and are encouraged to) join and participate. Licensees can obtain a membership application form from the secretary of their local board.

Licensees exempt from safe night precinct local boards

Under the Liquor Regulation 2002, some classes of liquor licensees are exempt from the requirement to become members of local boards, but may join if they wish to do so. These include:

  • restaurants and cafes that are not licensed to sell liquor after 12 midnight
  • premises operating under a community other licence
  • producers/wholesalers
  • vessels
  • cinemas
  • commercial hotel licensees whose only licensed premises in the precinct is a detached bottle shop.

Benefits of having a safe night precinct local board

It is recommended that each SNP has a local board, but it is not a legal requirement.

The benefits of forming a local board include:

  • empowering local licensees and other stakeholders to develop solutions for their own areas
  • access to SNP funding grants and other sources of funding to implement initiatives
  • easy access to state and local government representatives who form part of the public safety consultative committee (PSCC) that supports the local board.

Where a local board for a safe night precinct adopts a local initiative that has the effect of being a price control or supply control, the parties to the local board may apply to the Commissioner to register the local initiative to ensure protection under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Safe night precinct local boards and liquor accords

SNP local boards are different to local liquor accords.

An SNP local board:

  • covers a specified area
  • must be an incorporated association
  • has membership requirements and rules specific to SNP boards
  • are eligible to apply for funding from a dedicated SNP grants funding program.

Local stakeholders in each area decide whether existing liquor accords continue to operate and how these may work together with the local board.

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