Hamilton Pub First To Vie For Eased Restrictions After Lockout Laws Scrapped

A once notorious hotspot for alcohol-fuelled violence in Hamilton is vying to have tough operating restrictions lifted following the decision to do away with Newcastle’s lockout laws.

The Sydney Junction Hotel on Beaumont Street has lodged an application with the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority to remove a 1am lockout and a requirement to have late-night supervisors and security patrols, as well as lifting limits on serving shots and cocktails.

SJs participated in a 12 month trial of eased restrictions between October 2021 and October 2022 which was used to justify dropping the regime of lockouts in the city last week.

Venues involved in the trial are now able to apply to ILGA to change their Liquor Licence conditions.

SJs is the first to launch such a bid arguing in its application the current rules are “either historic or were imposed as a result of the previous owner’s business operation involving a nightclub”.

Back in 2018 the hotel topped the list of the state’s most violent venues recording 25 incidents over the year prior.

However, SJs licensee said in the application the venues days operating as a nightclub are over.

“Since changing ownership and undergoing extensive renovations, the premises no longer has a nightclub component.”

The application is now under consideration by ILGA.