Freeze On Late-Night Liquor Licences Extended

28 June 2019

The Andrews Labor Government is extending an existing freeze on late-night liquor licences in the inner-city municipalities of Melbourne, Port Phillip, Yarra and Stonnington to control the density of liquor licenses and related anti-social behaviour in major entertainment precincts.

Under revised guidelines, existing venues remain exempt and new venues can still apply to trade past 1am if they meet certain exemption conditions, for example, if they support live music or supply alcohol for a significant cultural or sporting event.

The revised guidelines support Melbourne’s night-time economy and were developed through consultation with the live music industry and other stakeholders:

  • The patron capacity limit for live music venues eligible for an exemption will be increased from 200 to 500 people
  • The Minister will be given the power to provide exemptions from the freeze to premises or ventures if they are of major economic significance
  • The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation will be given the power to provide exemptions for venues seeking to trade past 1am for the live broadcast of a major international sporting event
  • Additional requirements for applicants seeking to trade after 1am on New Year’s Eve within the freeze are removed
  • Council support will no longer be required for an application seeking an exemption from the guidelines.

The changes to the guidelines provide a simpler and clearer process for applicants seeking exemptions, reduce red tape and ensure Melbourne continues to enjoy a strong and vibrant night-time economy.

The freeze on late-night liquor licences was first introduced in 2008 as one of a range of measures to respond to alcohol-related harm and crime in inner Melbourne.

A review of the revised guidelines will commence after one year of their operation, and inform the approach when the revised guidelines expire on 30 June 2021.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Marlene Kairouz

“These reforms are helping boost Melbourne’s thriving night-time economy, without sacrificing community safety.”

“We’re extending the freeze on late-night liquor licences, but we’re also making sure that the process is clear and simple for venues that have legitimate grounds for exemptions.”

“This is an important step in continuing to reduce anti-social behaviour while also allowing Victorians to go out and enjoy Melbourne’s world-class night life.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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