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Forums and liquor accords

A forum is a meeting of liquor and gambling industry representatives and interested community members who meet regularly to develop strategies to improve the operation of licensed premises and reduce alcohol-related harm and gambling issues in a local area.

Forums may be formalised with the establishment of a liquor accord; a written document that sets out specific aims, actions, objectives and strategies addressing local alcohol-related problems. It may also include responsible gambling initiatives.

The Forums and accords - materials and resources page contains materials and templates you can adapt for your own use when developing a liquor accord.

Who can set up a forum?
Forums are a local initiative and are set up by local police, council representatives and licensees working together. The VCGLR can provide guidance and assistance if required.
Who normally participates in a forum?

Forum members may include:

  • local licensees from a variety of venue types including sporting clubs, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, packaged liquor outlets and gaming venues
  • local Victoria Police members
  • local council representatives
  • other community and industry groups and organisations with an interest in alcohol and gambling issues.

VCGLR representatives, including Commissioners and staff from the Education, Licensing and Compliance divisions, attend forum meetings from time to time, based on availability and priority. 

What is the VCGLR's role at forums?
The VCGLR supports forums by providing resources, educational material and regular email updates containing important information about legislation changes and new initiatives. This includes a bulletin sent to all forum chairpersons at the beginning of each month, containing news items and updates. The chairperson is encouraged to circulate the bulletin to all forum members and include it in discussions at the meetings.
Do I have to join a forum or agree to an accord if I am a licensee?

No, you do not have to join a forum or become a signatory to an accord. Participation is voluntary.

However, our experience with licensees, industry stakeholders and community has found it is best business practice for licensees to join a forum and sign any related accords. 

What are the benefits to forum members?

By working together with the VCGLR, Victoria Police, local government and the community to minimise alcohol-related harm in and around their venue, licensees maximise opportunities to attract patrons and minimise potential incidents.

Forums benefit members by:

  • providing information about licence conditions and how to improve compliance with liquor and gambling laws
  • providing information and updates on changes to liquor and gambling laws
  • facilitating positive working relationships and networking opportunities with key stakeholders
  • assisting to develop strategies for managing difficult patrons
  • making entertainment precincts a more enjoyable place for residents and visitors
  • sharing knowledge and tips about making venues feel welcoming.
How can you find your local forum?
There are currently 89 local liquor forums operating in Victoria – 62 in regional areas, and 27 in Melbourne. They are listed on the Liquor forums and contacts page.
What is a liquor accord?

A liquor accord is a written document that sets out specific aims, actions, objectives and strategies that provide practical solutions to local alcohol-related problems and implement a range of programs to promote harm-minimisation principles. It may also include responsible gambling initiatives.

Liquor accords are established under Part 8, Division 6 of the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 (the Act) and must be approved by the Commission.

To guide and assist others, Wangaratta liquor forum has generously shared their approved accord document.

The VCGLR is committed to ensuring that all information on this website is widely available. If you require a copy of this document or any other document on the VCGLR website to be mailed to you, please email the VCGLR at contact@vcglr.vic.gov.au or telephone 1300 182 457.

How do I apply for approval of a liquor accord?

The Accords information pack (PDF, 464KB) includes all the information, checklists and forms you need to apply for approval of a liquor accord.

You will find:

  • information about how to apply
  • checklist of what to include in your accord document
  • Victoria Police approval form
  • banning guidelines insert to be included in your accord document.

The VCGLR is committed to ensuring that all information on this website is widely available. If you require a copy of this document or any other document on the VCGLR website to be mailed to you, please email the VCGLR at contact@vcglr.vic.gov.au or telephone 1300 182 457.

Where can I find more information?
If you can’t find the information you are looking for, email contact@vcglr.vic.gov.au with your queries and a member of the VCGLR Education team will be happy to assist you.

 

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