Interim approvals will allow NSW small bars to open sooner

Liquor & Gaming NSW has amended its approval process so that new small bar applicants, who have all the necessary planning approvals, can now be issued an interim approval to start trading as soon as they lodge their liquor licence application online.

This change means small bars will have the same interim approval process as restaurants and cafes and enables eligible small bars to get up-and-running much sooner.

Small bars are eligible when applicants:

  • apply for their licence online, seek trading hours up to 2 am and do not need a Community Impact Statement
  • already have required planning approval to use the premises for the purposes of a small bar – the planning approval application must have gone through a public consultation process under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

All small bars issued with an interim approval must notify the NSW Police and the local consent authority at least two days before they start trading. 

 Small bars applying to trade after 2am need a Community Impact Statement

 Any licensing application that seeks approval for a small bar to trade past 2am must include a Category B Community Impact Statement.

 This allows for more comprehensive community consultation and ensures decision-makers can carefully consider any community impacts from late-night trading. Small bars do not need a Community Impact Statement for trading until 2 am.

Visit the Liquor & Gaming NSW website for more information. 

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