Seven Illawarra venues cop licence strikes

Cafe On Legs has two strikes.Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Cafe On Legs has two strikes.Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Seven Illawarra licensed venues have been issued "strikes" under a state government disciplinary scheme aimed at reducing alcohol-related offences.

One Wollongong venue, Cafe On Legs, received two strikes - one for selling liquor outside its authorised trading hours and another for selling liquor to minors.

Solicitor for Cafe on Legs, Julian Cesta, said the business "continued to work closely with the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing and the local liquor licensing police".

"Cafe On Legs is popular amongst the public and has an optimistic future; they have continued their efforts in adhering to the conditions of their licence," he said. "The business and many other licensed venues in the area are to some extent a victim of the liquor industry in NSW, that being the stringent regulation imposed on licensees given the climate of alcohol-fuelled violence."

Six other Illawarra venues, including cafes, restaurants and pubs, also made the list with one strike each.

They included the Grand Hotel in Wollongong, Gringo's Mexican Restaurant and Bar in Thirroul, Red Square Wollongong, Shellharbour Workers Club, Piato Grand in Wollongong and Gerringong Bowling & Recreation Club.

Across the state, 93 venues had strikes recorded since the scheme first began in 2012, with two licensed establishments in Sydney receiving three strikes.

A third strike can result in a licence suspension for up to 12 months, licence cancellation, or disqualification of a licensee for any period of time.

Australian Hotels Association (NSW) Illawarra sub-branch president Andy Hannelly said while he could only speak for hotels, he didn't believe there was anything sinister about the behaviour of the venues that had received strikes.

"I don't think we have rogue operators intentionally flouting the law," he said. "Unfortunately, it can be a minor lapse in judgment or a simple error that can have far-reaching negative financial implications."

Venues on the "three strikes" register will pay more under NSW's risk-based annual liquor licensing fee scheme to contribute to the additional regulatory effort they create.

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