NSW Government extends Christmas Eve trading
The NSW Government has extended takeaway liquor trading hours from 10pm until 11pm whenever Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, however the changes do not yet apply to New Year’s Eve.
Packaged liquor outlets, hotels, clubs and other venues will be able to continue takeaway sales until 11pm this Christmas Eve, Sunday 24 December, if they are currently able to trade until then on other days from Monday through to Saturday.
While the Christmas Eve move was welcomed by Michael Waters, Executive Director of the Liquor Stores Association NSW & ACT (LSA), he called on the Regulator to apply the extension to New Year’s Eve as well.
“The LSA has been working closely with Liquor & Gaming NSW on fixing this anomaly, and are pleased that trading hours have now been extended until 11pm whenever Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, as it’s consistent with the amendment we achieved last year to the 2014 liquor law reforms,” Waters told TheShout.
“However as we all know, whenever Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, so too does New Year’s Eve, and LSA feels it’s a perfect opportunity for the Regulator to sort this one out too, once and for all.
“Whether they are in the city, or in the country, people across NSW getting ready to celebrate New Year’s Eve on 31 December 2017, will no doubt be frustrated to discover that their local bottleshop had to close at 10pm or earlier on this night, due to a long outdated law.
“We will continue to engage proactively with Liquor & Gaming NSW on this matter, and if not successful this year, trust that it will be by the next time 31 December falls on a Sunday in 2023.”
In a statement about the move, Liquor & Gaming NSW said: “This change is consistent with previous arrangements that were superseded by liquor law reforms in 2014. It complements existing special arrangements for packaged liquor licensees, who can already begin trading earlier from 8am when Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday.
“The special Sunday trading arrangements provide consumers with extra time to make purchases ahead of celebrations on Christmas Day, when no retail liquor trading is permitted.”
The LSA also said it wanted to remind liquor retailers operating under the General Retail Industry Award that the Fair Work Commission has extended overtime loadings to casual, not just permanent employees, effective from 1 January 2018. The LSA has prepared and distributed revised wage summaries to members this week, and said it encourages liquor retailers who do not have the updated wage rates to contact the LSA office for assistance.