26 September 2023

Commission shakes up liquor licence laws

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The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) has granted almost 3,000 temporary liquor licences to help businesses adapt and stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commission said the temporary licences enabled businesses to supply liquor with outdoor dining.

Licensing Director at VCGLR, Alex Fitzpatrick said it was a priority to support industry during such a challenging and stressful time, with the appropriate safeguards in place.

“We made a commitment to process these applications within three business days where venues supplied the necessary information, so industry could adjust and continue trading as seamlessly as possible,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.

“Our staff were extremely committed and long hours were put in to develop and streamline our processes so we can promptly respond to industry needs,” she said.

“This approach is aligned with the Victorian Government’s roadmap to reopening and we consulted with local councils and the Municipal Association of Victoria to ensure the process is as efficient as possible, while still applying appropriate diligence to these applications.”

Ms Fitzpatrick said around 2,500 temporary liquor licences were also granted when the hospitality industry was first directed to close its doors, these licences allowed businesses to supply liquor via takeaway and delivery.

“The 2,500 temporary liquor licences initially granted by VCGLR were originally due to expire in mid-September however the VCGLR used its powers to extend the expiry date avoiding the need for licensees to re-apply,” she said.

Ms Fitzpatrick said the Commission was planning to run a Reopen Responsibly campaign to remind businesses of their liquor licence obligations.

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