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RTO No: 52312

Freeze on late-night liquor licences extended

29 July 2021

Freeze on late night liquor licences extend

The Victorian Government is extending an existing freeze on the grant of late-night liquor licences in metropolitan Melbourne, Port Phillip, Yarra, and Stonnington.

An approved late-night liquor licence allows venues to trade after 1am. This freeze is aimed at controlling the density of liquor licences and the related anti-social behaviour in major entertainment precincts.

This means that venues with existing late-night licences can continue to trade, and new venues can still apply to trade past 1am if they meet certain exemption conditions contained in the new freeze guidelines (PDF, 384.91 KB) issued by the Minister on 29 June 2021.

The exemptions to the freeze have been expanded under the new guidelines to reduce red tape and help businesses recover from the economic impacts of (COVID-19). This includes:

  • increasing the maximum number of patrons in exempt late-night live music venues from 500 to 1000
  • exempting major event licences from the freeze guidelines where the appropriate local government has approved all relevant permits for that event
  • no longer requiring cultural festivals, live music, charity, or tourist events to be considered ‘significant’ or ‘major’ to be exempt from the freeze.

These changes to exemptions will ensure Melbourne continues to enjoy a strong and vibrant night-time economy, while continuing to combat alcohol-related harm.

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.

Data to be collected over the next two years will be used by the Victorian Government to conduct a wider evaluation of the effectiveness of the late-night liquor freeze and to assess alternative measures targeting late-night alcohol-related harm.

To find out more about the freeze on late-night liquor licences, please visit VCGLR website or contact their client services team via email at contact@vcglr.vic.gov.au or phone on 1300 182 457.