IMPORTANT NOTICE: A Declared State of Disaster is currently in place across Victoria. See: COVID-19 information for licensees
Since the State of Emergency was declared in Victoria on 16 March, we have processed over 2,300 temporary limited licences to support businesses impacted by coronavirus.
Adam Ockwell, Director Compliance said “Current measures in response to the coronavirus have significantly impacted the way gambling and liquor venues operate. While gambling venues and some liquor venues have remained closed, granting of temporary limited licences has allowed other businesses - who would normally operate and supply liquor within their premises - to supply liquor via takeaway and delivery services.”
“In response to the increase in liquor available via takeaway and delivery, our compliance inspectors are focussing their efforts this month on ensuring delivery services understand their obligations for checking for ID, and ensuring that relevant licensees are supplying food with liquor.
“Limitations on liquor quantities will also be a focus to ensure the risks associated with liquor related harms are reduced.
“We recognise that current circumstances require flexibility and understanding not only of industry but on our part as the regulator and our role ensuring compliance.
“As restrictions ease over the coming weeks and patrons return to licensed premises, licensees will need to be mindful of their existing licence conditions in addition to any conditions outlined in temporary limited licences which are in effect until the end of the State of Emergency. Our inspectors will be assisting Victoria Police and DHHS to ensure licensed venues are complying with the directions of the Chief Health Officer, including patron numbers and other safety measures.
“Most licensees are doing the right thing and trading within their licence conditions however, if businesses have changed their normal trading practices, they may now have new licence conditions they’re less familiar with and we want to help them understand and follow these,” said Mr Ockwell.
A statement of regulatory intent released last month outlines a common-sense and pragmatic approach to enforcing gambling and liquor laws. Compliance and enforcement activity continue with a focus on matters that pose significant risk to public safety and community wellbeing.
“We apply a risk-based approach to regulation, encouraging the right behaviour through education and enforcement and continue to take an educative approach to compliance during this time. We do, however remain focussed on ensuring the integrity of the industry, minimising harm and that the responsible service of liquor is being followed.
“Our compliance activities include face to face inspections with appropriate social distancing and safety measures in place, working closely with frontline services, including police to ensure venues are compliant as well as remote monitoring of venues,” said Mr Ockwell.
Businesses must have the correct licence for their type of operation to ensure they are trading lawfully. Information about relevant licences and conditions is available online, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for licensees
Anyone aware of licensees doing the wrong thing by breaching gambling and liquor laws can lodge a complaint via our website, see: Complaints