Review of the Liquor Control Regulations (Vic)

27 March 2019

The Victorian Government is currently reviewing the Liquor Control Reform Regulations which are due to expire on 4 November 2019. The review is focussing on issues relating to local council regulations and the supply of liquor. The particular sections under review concern the supply and granting of liquor licences and the prohibition on the supply of certain classes of liquor. Through this review, the Government aims to minimise regulatory burden in order to generate growth and innovation in the liquor industry. Submissions on other parts of the regulations are also being accepted.

Why the review?

There are a number of current issues surrounding the powers granted to local councils. At this time, it is a condition of every liquor licence application that it be approved by the relevant local council. Further, the intended licenced premises must not breach the local council planning scheme, under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (VIC). As such, local council plays a large role in the granting or denying of a liquor licence. Council’s role has the capacity to impede licencing which, in effect, creates regulatory burden and red tape and, in turn, impacts on the time and expense associated with liquor licence applications. These are common concerns and complaints held by our clients. The discourse around this regulatory issue has sparked the need for review and change.

Who will it impact?

Changes which minimise regulatory burden relating to local council regulations and the supply of liquor would impact:

  • The application processes for new liquor licences and transfers of and variations to liquor licences;
  • The conditions placed on liquor licences; and
  • The timing and costs associated with liquor licence applications.
Key dates

The review is currently underway. The consultation period was opened in October 2018. The Regulatory Impact Statement and draft regulations are expected to be made available in March 2019. Following release of the Regulatory Impact Statement and draft regulations, the Victorian Government will seek further consultation until May 2019, with the new regulations to be published in November 2019.

How can we assist?

If you are interested to know more or would like to make a submission to the review please contact the authors.

This article was written by Justin Pasa, Partner and Gail Owen, Partner.

Justin Pasa

P: +61 3 8644 3552


Gail Owen

P: +61 3 8644 3504


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