Takeaway alcohol will be off the table for some locations in SA from July
Some locations in South Australia will no longer be able to sell takeaway food from the end of June as a liquor license change introduced during the pandemic expires – despite the former state government’s announcement that the change would be made permanent.
An amendment to South Australian liquor licenses introduced by the former Marshall government, giving hospitality businesses suffering from pandemic-limited trade an additional revenue stream to keep their businesses afloat, is set to be repealed on June 30 this year.
While initially intended as a temporary measure, it was later announced that the change would be permanent.
The former state government failed to achieve this when they left office, meaning the liquor license change was linked to the South Australian Emergency Declaration and would lapse once the declaration was withdrawn.
The statement was eventually withdrawn just after noon on Tuesday, May 24, with the ability for many licensed locations to sell takeaway alcohol.
This shocked Karma & Crow founder Janie Kammer, who has been selling takeaway wine from her cafe in Richmond since the change was introduced.
“We had not received any direct communication from the government before or after the change,” Janie told CityMag. “When we found out, we knew this must be a mistake and should be rectified with some notice.
“When the license went into effect in 2020, and with the support of Vickie Chapman’s bill to change the license to remain permanent in 2021, we saw a huge opportunity to support local creators while also propelling us. The license was a great way to keep so many jobs in the industry and showcase the best of SA.”
The state government confirmed to CityMag today that the liquor license has expired with the withdrawal of the state’s emergency declaration, but they have now extended the change until June 30.
“In March 2020, the state government allowed holders of certain classes of liquor licenses, including restaurants, to apply for a temporary license to sell takeout with the purchase of a takeaway to support the business through the pandemic,” said Dini Soulio, commissioner for liquor and games of chance.
“It was expressly stated in these short-term licenses that the license was only applicable until the expiration or withdrawal of the Emergency Management Directorate.
Recognizing that several licensees with temporary authorization must change their business model, the Liquor & Gambling Commissioner will extend the interim arrangements for those licensees with a short-term license for limited takeaway alcohol with a meal, Until June 30, 2022.
“The temporary arrangements for restaurants that can provide takeaway alcohol with a meal will expire on June 30 at 11:59 pm.”
As for whether something similar to the amendment will be introduced, Dini reiterated that “ending this direction was a priority”, but “the minister has requested a review of the Liquor Licensing Act”.
The extra time will allow Janie to go through some of the inventory she’s built up in anticipation of the license change going ahead.
“We estimate there was about 50k of inventory on hand,” she says. “We have a restaurant license so that we can move this slowly, but the takeout license has been a consistent and reliable source of additional income and allowed us to continue ordering from our hard-working [winemakers]†
As she navigates these changes in her business conditions today, Janie spoke to the commissioner about her desire to reintroduce the liquor license change.
“We discussed some immediate and long-term solutions,” says Janie.
“Ultimately, we want the license to be permanently reinstated. The permit was active for two years. It stimulated the economy, created jobs, supported our suppliers, and contributed to tourism.
“Very few good things came from COVID; this was one of them and should stay.”