Push for suburban small bars in SA

SAA petition to extend small bar licences beyond the Adelaide CBD has been presented to the review of the state’s liquor licensing regime. One metropolitan council mayor has insisted “the market should decide” where start-up ventures are able to operate.

Due to report to the government in June, submissions have now closed for the review by former Supreme Court judge, Tim Anderson.

There is strong support by many metropolitan councils—including Onkaparinga, Burnside and Holdfast Bay—to extend beyond the current CBD limits. They are backed by Restaurant & Catering SA, whose own submission “supports small venue licences being made available in other locations”.

“Such licences can activate desolate precincts, improving the amenity and dining culture of emerging destinations,” it says, although it emphases “their introduction should be controlled and measured so as not to adversely impact businesses currently in operation,” it reads.

Onkaparinga mayor Lorraine Rosenberg argued against Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese’s claim that any extension would “kill the goose that laid the golden egg”, stating: “Adelaide’s CBD isn’t the only place where entrepreneurship should thrive.”

She went on to say the strength of the business model and market demand should be the determinants as to whether small bars failed or succeeded, saying many had done so in Adelaide “because it unleashed the creativity of young entrepreneurs who were previously constrained by excessive regulation”.

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