SA Pubs Concerned About Tough New Trading Conditions

New late night trading conditions have raised concern among publicans in SA. The new code is aimed at making entertainment districts a safer and healthier environment for patrons and keeping the public safe. The number of alcohol fuelled violent crimes and amount of social misconduct that occurred last year was unacceptable, with several people losing their lives in entertainment districts across the country. It is hoped these new late night trading restrictions will significantly impact the safety in these districts.

However some publicans in South Australia are worried about the new late night trading conditions which they believe are too tough and too generalised across the country. The new conditions would be imposed state-wide at licenced venues as approved by Cabinet last year.

Some of the most notable conditions laid out by the new code include banning promotions that are gender based such as “ladies nights”.  It is also now the licenced venues responsibility to protect patrons from drink spiking and providing them with free drinking water. Most of these conditions were already being carried out by most responsible publicans but there some new ones. Some publicans are afraid that the new code imposes the same restrictions on pubs regardless of where in the country they are and does not look at the specific needs of the pub or the area.

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South Australian pubs are concerned about tough new late night trading conditions that would apply to venues state-wide.

The Draft Late Night Trading Code of Practice is the second tranche of reforms proposed for SA liquor licences. It is set to follow the introduction next week (January 18) of the General Code of Practice, which was approved by Cabinet last year.

Australian Hotels Association (SA) general manager Ian Horne told TheShout most publicans feel “pretty comfortable” with the general code.

It includes requirements to provide free cool drinking water to patrons, bans “gender-based” drinks promotions like ladies nights, and sets out the responsibility of venues to protect patrons from drink spiking.

“It’s a formalising of what many pubs have already been doing, there’s been a voluntary code in since place the late 1990s,” Horne said.

“It now becomes mandatory so it effectively has the same power as being a condition of your licence.”

But he said the late night code proposes very severe measures including statewide lockouts at 3am, mandatory metal detection on 200-plus capacity venues, as well as requirements relating to non-breakable drinkware and CCTV.

“Unfortunately what’s being proposed is just a statewide blanket, it fails to look at specific needs of specific areas,” said Horne.

“What would apply in Hindley street, which is the equivalent of Sydney’s Kings Cross, would also apply in Ceduna on the far west coast,” he said.


In addition to enforcing the new late night trading code, waitrons and other staff of licenced venues should know when to refuse service to a patron in order to serve alcohol responsibly. Responsible service of alcohol is also a vital part of publican’s duties. Waitrons and bartenders should be skilled in identifying the signs of intoxication and when to refuse service. There should be consensus among staff as to what these signs are and which customers are to be refused alcohol.

All staff of licenced venues from serving staff to security should be in possession of their RSA certificate and be able to apply these rules to their work. Both staff and licensees will be held liable for any RSA breaches or serving alcohol to banned patrons in addition to enforcing the new late night trading code.