Liquor licensing is a key element of many hospitality businesses. In many circumstances, a licence providing for extensive trading conditions is key to a profitable business. This is particularly so in 2021, where businesses continue to navigate difficult trading conditions as a result of the pandemic.
We have recently had success in assisting a client with a disputed variation to the liquor licensing conditions affecting their business
Liquor Control Reform Act 1998
The Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 is the main piece of legislation that regulates the service of alcohol in Victoria. It contains provisions that allow for interested parties to object to applications for licences to serve alcohol. The most common and obvious class of objectors is a neighbour to business premises.
Our client made an application to extend their hours of service and modify the licence type from a restaurant to a bar-type licence. Several neighbours made objections which triggered a review process that included a hearing and written submissions.
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation
The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) manages liquor licencing in Victoria. The VCGLR has its own internal review process that whilst not as formal as a court or VCAT, has a series of stages that require proper document preparation and legal argument. The VCGLR must consider the requirements of the Act and consider the facts of any given case with the law. In these circumstances, obtaining proper legal advice is essential to assist you to navigate and understand issues relating to planning and local amenity.
Through appearing at the hearing, providing detailed submissions and advising on key negotiation issues we achieved an outcome for our clients that allowed for increased services times.
We can advise on new applications for liquor licenses, variations to liquor licences, and breaches of liquor licence conditions. For contested matters, we can brief an experienced barrister to appear on your behalf.
Will has developed a broad commercial practice in which he advises clients on business acquisition and sale, commercial agreements, commercial and retail leasing, and commercial litigation. Learn more about Will's legal experience.