Liquor law

In NSW, the Liquor Act 2007 regulates and controls the sale and supply of alcohol and certain aspects of the use of premises on which alcohol is sold or supplied. It also provides the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority and the Secretary of the Department Justice with powers to regulate the sale and supply of alcohol.

The Gaming and Liquor Administration Act 2007 establishes the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority for the purposes of liquor regulatory functions, including determining liquor licensing and disciplinary matters. It also provides for the probity of officials under the gaming and liquor legislation, and confers investigation and enforcement powers for the purposes of that legislation.

Both the Liquor Act and the Gaming and Liquor Administration Act (the NSW liquor laws) also have other, ancillary purposes.

Objectives of the Liquor Act

The objectives of the Liquor Act are to:

  • regulate and control the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol in a way that is consistent with the expectations, needs and aspirations of the community
  • facilitate the balanced development, in the public interest, of the liquor industry through a flexible and practical system of regulation with minimal formality and technicality
  • contribute to the responsible development of related industries such as the live music, entertainment, tourism and hospitality industries.

In securing these objectives, the Liquor Act requires that each person who exercises functions under the Act (including a licensee) has due regard to the need to:

  • minimise harm associated with misuse and abuse of alcohol (including harm arising from violence and other anti-social behaviour)
  • encourage responsible attitudes and practices towards the promotion, sale, supply, service and consumption of alcohol
  • ensure that the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol contributes to, and does not detract from, the amenity of community life.

Objectives of the Gaming and Liquor Administration Act

The objectives of the Gaming and Liquor Administration Act are to:

  • ensure the probity of public officials who are engaged in the administration of the gaming and liquor legislation
  • ensure that the Independent Liquor & Authority is accessible and responsive to the needs of all persons and bodies who deal with the Authority
  • promote fair and transparent decision-making under the gaming and liquor legislation
  • require matters under the gaming and liquor legislation to be dealt with and decided in an informal and expeditious manner
  • promote public confidence in the Authority's decision-making and in the conduct of its members.

These objectives guide regulators, licensees, persons selling and supplying alcohol, and the community on the purpose and application of the liquor laws.

NSW Government response to the "Statutory review of the Liquor Act 2007 and the Gaming and Liquor Administration Act 2007" (PDF, 448 KB).