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The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is the independent statutory authority that regulates Victoria's gambling and liquor industries.

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Apply for a temporary limited licence

Other related content
Liquor

Temporary limited licences are often required by individuals or organisations holding a one-off event such as a ball, a presentation night or an event requiring an extension of trading hours or temporary increase in size of the licensed premises.

Before planning an event, applicants and event organisers can contact the VCGLR for advice and more information on the application process, timelines and requirements. 

Processing times 

Liquor licence applications should be lodged at least eight weeks before the event as approval isn’t automatic. The time taken to process an application will vary depending on a range of factors including the complexity of the application and any objections raised. Certain applications need to be reviewed by Victoria Police and local council, which require their own time frames.

Applications seeking to trade past 1am require a minimum of 50 days to process and may require a public notice to be displayed for 28 days. 

A temporary limited licence can’t be granted for events held at premises used primarily by people under the age of 18 years, such as an indoor play centre. 

When is a temporary limited licence required?

A temporary limited licence authorises the licensee to supply liquor subject to the conditions and during the times specified in the licence. 

For example, a temporary limited licence may be granted: 

  • for the supply of liquor at one-off events or a series of one-off events 
  • to increase trading hours or the size of the licensed premises of an existing licensee for a one-off event.

To grant a temporary limited licence, the Commission must be satisfied that the scale and scope of the supply of liquor is limited in nature. 

Various ways in which the scale and scope of supply may be limited include the: 

  • range of products 
  • customers 
  • hours 
  • size of premises 
  • means of delivery.

A temporary limited licence is generally not required for private events where liquor will be supplied free of charge. A licence will always be required if the supply of liquor is contingent on the sale or purchase of some good or service. If liquor is being supplied through a catering company, the catering company will require a liquor licence. This is because the liquor is being purchased through the catering company. 

If the premises hired for the private event is licensed (for example a licensed restaurant), then a temporary limited licence is not required. The licensee of that premises is responsible for ensuring that liquor is supplied in accordance with the conditions of its licence.

However, if the premises hired for the private event is unlicensed and falls within one of the below categories, then a temporary limited licence will be required:  

  • milk bar, convenience store or mixed business  
  • premises where meals are ordinarily served to the public for consumption on the premises 
  • premises occupied by a club 
  • premises where light refreshments and non-alcoholic drinks are sold to the public for consumption on the premises. 

Examples of premises in the above categories include an unlicensed restaurant, unlicensed boats selling refreshments or an unlicensed football club. A function hall with a commercial kitchen would not fall within this category as the premises are not used “ordinarily” to serve food to the public.
 

Do I require a major event licence?

A Major Event Liquor Licence is required if you plan to sell alcohol at an event where a large crowd (over 5000 patrons) is expected, or your event is likely to have a significant impact such as:

  • requiring significant regulatory enforcement effort or oversight from us and other agencies such as Victoria Police or local council
  • provision and organisation of public transport or emergency services
  • public safety and/or the amenity of the area in which the event is to be held.

If you fit one or more of the above criteria you will need to apply for a major event licence (Event with more than 5000)
 

Venue management plan

Applicants seeking to vary licence conditions for a live music venue and applicants subject to the late-night liquor licence freeze in the municipalities of Melbourne (including the district known as Docklands), Stonnington, Yarra and Port Phillip, must provide a venue management plan. 

This allows licensees or licence applicants to demonstrate they have a strategy for the management of their venue and its risks. 

Applicants should include the following in their venue management plan where relevant: 

  • details of the liquor licence sought/held – refer to definitions in the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 
  • details of the hours of operation of the premises 
  • details of any proposed special events and specific management strategies for dealing with such special events 
  • security arrangements including the number of personnel and their hours of work 
  • strategies for responding to drugs and weapons 
  • strategies for dealing with intoxicated, drunk and disorderly patrons
  • approach to the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA)
  • management of aggressive or unruly patrons
  • the provision of free drinking water 
  • details of the maximum number of patrons to be permitted on the premises 
  • managing entry and exits and pass-out arrangements 
  • dealing with theft on the premises 
  • lighting within the boundaries of the premises and security lighting outside the premises 
  • security camera locations, operation and management
  • general rubbish storage and removal arrangements including hours of pick up 
  • bottle storage and removal arrangements including hours of pick up 
  • noise reduction measures (if applicable). For example, doors, windows, noise reduction devices 
  • processes in place for limiting noise such as music, emptying bins, generators and from patrons in and around the licensed venue 
  • processes for managing litter in and around the venue 
  • the training of staff in the management of the behaviour of patrons/residents of the premises, RSA, Responsible Service of Gaming (if applicable) and first aid 
  • a complaint handling process to be put in place to effectively manage complaints received from neighbouring and nearby businesses and residents, including a complaints register to be kept at the premises. The register must include details of the complaint received (who, when, where, what), any action taken, and the response provided to the complainant 
  • details of the management methods to be employed to minimise queuing outside the venue 
  • details of patron and resident management regarding outdoor areas to minimise impacts on the amenity of nearby properties 
  • details of the management of patrons/residents who are smoking in and around the venue 
  • details of public transport facilities available (including taxi services) to patrons and residents of the premises 
  • evacuation procedures 
  • requirement for staff to read the management plan 
  • any other management strategies relevant to your business.
Applying for multiple events within a 12-month period

Individuals or organisations may apply for temporary licences to cover a maximum of six one-off events at a venue over a 12-month period. A maximum of three events will be accepted per application. 

Where an application is made for a series of events over a limited season, the season must extend for no longer than three months.

Applicants must have the right to occupy the premises during the event or season nominated. 

Holders of a producer’s licence may apply for a temporary limited licence to attend and sell wine at up to 12 farmer's or craft markets in any one year under the one licence.

Events with multiple suppliers of liquor

Events such as fetes, markets and festivals can often include the supply of liquor by more than one party. This may include licensees seeking to supply liquor that they have produced themselves or where several businesses have been engaged to supply liquor to attendees. The most common licensing arrangements for multiple suppliers at an event are outlined in the scenarios below. 

Scenario 1: Both the event organiser and individual suppliers are licensed

In this scenario the event organiser can apply for a temporary limited licence, or if the event involves more than 5000 patrons, a major event licence.

Individual suppliers at the event would also apply for a temporary limited licence, or a major event licence, allowing the licensee to supply liquor at the point of sale (such as from a booth or similar) for consumption in the area licenced by the event organiser. 

The event organiser is responsible for maintaining an environment that encourages and ensures liquor is consumed responsibly within the event. The event organiser is also responsible for submitting a red line plan as part of their application. The event organiser’s responsibilities might include engaging crowd controllers, providing barriers to licensed areas, and ensuring that persons aged under 18 either do not enter the premises or are clearly identifiable as being underage if they do. 

Individual suppliers who attend the event are not required to submit a red-line plan with their application, but they are responsible for ensuring that they supply liquor in a responsible manner.

Importantly, in this scenario both the event organiser and the individual suppliers can be held liable for any breaches of their responsibilities as licensees.

Scenario 2: Only the event organiser is licensed

In scenario 2 the event organiser can obtain a temporary limited licence or major event licence that covers all liquor supplied at the event. This means that the event organiser is responsible for maintaining an environment that encourages the responsible supply and consumption of liquor.

As in scenario 1, the event organiser is required to submit a red line plan with their application.

At events licensed in this way suppliers can display their products however, they must not supply any liquor directly to patrons. As the event organiser is the only licensee, they are the only business or person which can supply liquor to patrons. 

In this scenario, if individual suppliers supply liquor to the event organiser who in turn supplies liquor to patrons, the supplier must ensure that they already have a permanent licence which allows them to do this.

Scenario 3: Only suppliers (not event organiser) are licensed

For some events, like a small daytime market or school fete, it may be possible for only the individual suppliers to be licensed. 

In this scenario individual suppliers should apply for a temporary limited licence that allows for point of sale supply, which means there is no need for the event organiser to have a liquor licence. Individual suppliers will be responsible for ensuring that liquor is supplied in a responsible manner and a red line plan is not required.

It should be noted that this scenario can only apply if the event occurs in a space where the consumption of liquor is not banned. e.g local laws do not prevent consumption of liquor.   

If you are unsure which licence you need for your event, phone 1300 182 457 or email contact@vcglr.vic.gov.au

Holding an event at a school?

To apply for a temporary limited licence to run an event (such as a fete or fundraising event) at a school, the right organisation/entity must apply. Applications should be made under the organisation/entity that will be responsible for the purchase, supply and sale of liquor and who will be receiving the funds raised. 

For example, if the “ABC Kindergarten Association Inc.“or the “Friends of Animals Charity Inc.” is applying to run an event at ABC Primary School, the licence should be applied for by (in the name of) “ABC Kindergarten Association Inc.” or the “Friends of Animals Charity Inc.”. On the other hand, if ABC Primary School is running the event on its own behalf, it should apply under the name “ABC Primary School”. 
 

Raffles

Where a raffle is conducted in such a way that each participant has a chance of winning a prize and one or more of those prizes are liquor, a liquor licence is not required. This is the common method of conducting a raffle. However, if a raffle is conducted on the basis that each participant wins a prize, and each prize is liquor, then a liquor licence is required. 

For more information phone 1300 182 457 or email contact@vcglr.vic.gov.au 

What to include in a temporary limited licence application

Trading hours
Application forms should specify the operating hours of the temporary limited licence. 

Applications seeking to trade past 1am in the Cities of Yarra, Port Phillip, Melbourne (including Docklands), or Stonnington are also required to satisfy the VCGLR that:

  • the event is one of a significant cultural festival, a major tourist event, New Year's Eve, a major live music event, or a major charity event
  • the relevant local council supports the application
  • there is a venue management plan in place. 

Plans for temporary limited licences   

When a liquor licence is granted, it is for a defined area indicating where liquor can be supplied and consumed. This is shown by a red line drawn on a plan of the premises (a red line plan). 

A plan is required to be submitted to the VCGLR as part of the application process and may also be required upon request at any time. 

What form should a plan take?

The plan must: 

  • be on at least A4 size paper 
  • be drawn in ink and be neat and legible 
  • include the premises address 
  • define the boundaries of the property 
  • outline the proposed licensed area/s in red 
  • show measurements of licensed areas 
  • show the basic functions or fixtures for example; bar dining area, kitchen area, etc. 

Payment and application

Applications can be made securely online via the temporary limited licence online form. Payment is made by a credit or debit card. 

If you require further information or help with your application form, please  contact Client Services on 1300 182 457 or email contact@vcglr.vic.gov.au

For information about the application fees associated with temporary limited licences, see: Liquor licence fee fact sheet. 
 

Apply for a temporary limited licence online

Transcript for Temporary licences for limited events video.

Page last modified 
5 December 2019