Licensed premises - disturbance complaints
I have a disturbance complaint about a pub / club / bar. What do I do?
A disturbance complaint can be made when a neighbourhood is disturbed by:
- The manner in which the business of a licensed premises is conducted; and/or
- The behaviour of patrons after leaving a licensed premises (such as anti-social behaviour and alcohol related violence).
Determine the nature of the disturbance. Is it:
- A one-off disturbance or one that happens infrequently?
- An ongoing disturbance with regular patterns and intervals?
Ring the premises and express your concern to the licensee or management at the time of the disturbance. There is an expectation that licensees or management will make every effort to address disturbance complaints immediately.
Listed below are links to the contact details for the major licensed premises in the Woollahra local government area.
It's best if you can also record exact details of the disturbance/s including times, dates and type of disturbance.
If contact cannot be made at the time, send an email complaint to the licensed premises and ‘cc’ Woollahra Council at email@example.com.
Contact details for a number of licensed premises are available below.
If the issue still hasn't been resolved, contact the Licensing Police at the Eastern Suburbs Local Area Command. Licensing Police have specialised training in liquor industry matters and can help resolve disturbance issues with a licensee. You can contact:
- Sergeant Pete Bolt
- Leading Senior Constable Jamie Zahra
- Senior Constable Robert Pazderka
Phone: 9362 6399
It is important at this stage that all recorded information related to the disturbance and steps undertaken to resolve it are given to the Police. Police will then help resolve the matter. This might involve informal conferences, agreed/voluntary undertakings by a licensee, etc.
If the disturbance still hasn't been resolved and is ongoing, there is legislative provision to lodge a formal disturbance complaint under Section 79 of the Liquor Act 2007 to the Director-General of Liquor & Gaming. Three or more residents are required to make a formal complaint. A statutory declaration is also required to support the complaint, and the process is evidence-based. The Director-General will then assess whether every effort has been made by the complainants to resolve the matter in the first instance and that further mediation would not be advantageous.
If the disturbance relates to high levels of noise, violence or is persistent, contact the Police:
Phone 000 in cases of emergency
Important notes from Licensing Police
Here are some helpful tips from Licensing Police to assist you when trying to resolve a disturbance complaint:
- Maintain accurate records of the disturbance.
- Provide the licensee with timely information relating to the disturbance. This allows concerns to be investigated, causes to be identified and resolution options to be developed.
- The best way to resolve disturbance issues is to work collaboratively with the licensee.
- Contact Licensing Police to report ongoing disturbance issues or unresolved complaints. If emailing, ‘cc’ to Council and the Precinct for record purposes. This ensures a log of complaints will be maintained and might assist in identifying trends relevant to specific premises.
Council patrols of Night Time Economy areas
Council has adopted a new Footway Dining Policy(PDF, 393KB), Footway Dining Guidelines(PDF, 518KB) and a Night Time Economy Policy.(PDF, 836KB) Council also resolved to commit regulatory staff to the ongoing enforcement of the policies together with proactive monitoring of development consents and on-street parking during the summer months on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Please appreciate that the Council’s Regulatory staff are not Police officers and do not have the same powers and training as Police officers. Therefore, if immediate action is required with regard to high levels of noise, anti-social behaviour, persistent noise or noise from persons on the street, the Police should be contacted immediately by calling;
For more information contact Michelle Easton, Development Compliance Officer at: firstname.lastname@example.org