The Big Freeze Extended To Keep Melbourne Safe And At Its Best

The Andrews Labor Government will extend the liquor licence freeze from July 1, which will make Melbourne’s streets safer while allowing a vibrant nightlife to thrive in our city.

The freeze stops big new venues from selling alcohol beyond 1am and was introduced to reduce social problems associated with late night liquor licenses.

Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Jane Garrett, said while the freeze will be extended, new guidelines will mean small boutique bars can apply for exemptions to their late night licences.

Under the reform, venues located in Melbourne, Port Phillip, Stonnington and Yarra can apply for an exemption if they want to serve alcohol after 1am.

To be exempt, venues will need council support, be able to demonstrate economic benefits, take steps to prevent alcohol abuse, and have a maximum patron capacity of 200.

The exemptions will only apply to accommodation hotels, live music venues, and bars where food is always available.

New, large venues such as beer barns will not be eligible for an exemption.

The Labor Government will also grant temporary variations to the freeze for culturally significant events, including New Year’s Eve, provided the licensee has the support of local government.

The freeze will continue to apply for another four years, expiring on 30 June 2019.

The Labor Government will continue to take action to reduce the misuse of alcohol and prevalence of alcohol-related harm.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Jane Garrett

“The Andrews Labor Government is committed to ensuring a safe and responsible drinking culture while also supporting a vibrant nightlife in our city.”

“Melbourne’s thriving boutique bars and pubs create jobs and draw tourists, and we’re supporting them by encouraging responsible drinking habits.”

“We know there’s a relationship between the concentration of licensed premises in an area and alcohol-related harm, and extending the freeze is just one of a number of ways we are making our community safer.”