The NSW Government is set to announce that the three-strike rules will now target licensees, rather than the actual pubs and restaurants, for breaches such as violent incidents, serving underage drinkers or selling or supplying liquor outside of approved trading hours.
As part of the lockout law reform package, the change is aimed at preventing venues from closing down if the owner is not the licensee, and stopping banks hiking up interest rates on pub owners each time a venue gets a strike.
The change brings pubs into line with similar rules for clubs and is what the Australian Hotels Association and some MPs have been pushing for some time.
An industry source said that it is something that puts a huge amount of pressure on financiers. “If they’re looking to borrow $40 million to $50 million, it creates too much of a risk for their bank.”
189 strikes were recorded between 2012 and 2015 and were incurred for breaches such as underage service, violating lockout laws, violence or for drugs being sold on the premises.
An AHA spokesman said: “The three-strikes scheme needs to be changed so those responsible for the offence are the ones penalised.
“The (strike) should not fall on the bricks and mortar of the hotel.”