The Victorian Government recognises the importance of sporting, recreational and social clubs to local communities. Many clubs share facilities such as clubrooms, function areas and sporting fields.
Many clubs are run by dedicated volunteers and the social and economic changes over the last few decades have made it increasingly difficult for small clubs to survive.
Traditionally, a single club structure has offered organisations the greatest amount of autonomy in managing their affairs. This type of structure has allowed clubs to:
It also allows clubs to share premises on a seasonal basis such as a football club in winter with a cricket club in summer.
The Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 requires a single licensee or nominee to be responsible for a liquor licence. When two or more clubs share the same premises over a 12 month period, they often hold their own liquor licence and are each paying the costs of an annual liquor licence.
In Victoria, there has been growth in amalgamated community clubs as a way to maintain viability. For clubs, amalgamation can provide financial savings and it can assist with time consuming administrative and governance tasks. An outcome greatly appreciated by the many volunteers who give up their time to support their local clubs.
Clubs that are interested in reducing the cost of holding a liquor licence may like to consider the following options:
All of these options should be carefully considered, particularly in terms of organisational structures, profit sharing and legal arrangements, such as leases with local councils.