Liquor & Gaming NSW (L&GNSW), including its predecessor Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing, has been shuffled from Government department to department over the years. With effect from 1 April 2017, L&GNSW is transferred from the Department of Justice to the Department of Industry.
On Friday, 17 March 2017, the Administrative Arrangements (Administrative Changes – Public Service Agencies) Order 2017 (Order) was Gazetted. The Order transfers a number of government bodies to their new departments, including L&GNSW.
Even though the Order was gazetted on 17 March 2017, its actual commencement was postponed until 1 April 2017, with the exception of two clauses which are not relevant here.
Apart from transferring the personnel of L&GNSW from the Department of Justice to the Department of Industry, the Order has the effect of also altering the Liquor Act 2007 and other liquor and gaming legislation in NSW, to the effect that any reference in this legislation to the Department of Justice is to be construed (from 1 April 2017) as a reference to the Department of Industry.
Clause 11(2) of the Order states that “in any document” a reference to the Department of Justice is taken to be a reference to the Department of Industry. In the Definitions section of the Order, a “document” means “any Act or statutory or other instrument, or any contract or agreement”.
Normally subordinate legislation such as a Regulation or in this case, the Order, cannot amend an Act passed by Parliament. However, in this case, the Order is taken to amending the Liquor & Gaming legislation of NSW as a consequence of Part 7 of the Constitution Act 1902 (NSW).
From 1 April 2017 the relevant administrative decision maker will no longer be the Secretary of the Department of Justice, instead it will be the Secretary of the Department of Industry. As from that date, any aggrieved applicant or any other person with appeal rights, will need to make sure that they nominate the correct decision maker and serve that decision maker, in any appeal proceedings commenced.
22 March 2017