(As we understand it, the Liquor licensing is to eventually migrate to– Department of Justice, but under VGCCC in the interim)
A quick synoptic overview of some of the changes to alcohol availability to your community – No prizes for guessing it is not more restrictive.
The following Licence types have been granted extended trading hours from 11 pm to 1 am
- Restaurant and cafe
- General and late night (general).
This is a concern, as it ‘creeps’ the active alcohol serving hours up into the small hours of the morning, again – this is unnecessary and will not bode well for public health and safety. (Outdoor settings of these venues are excluded from these new trading hours – they must still stop serving at 11 pm)
Also, these venues are now able to provide an alcohol ‘take-away’ and home delivery option for their customers.
Restaurant and cafe licensees allowed limited amounts of takeaway/home delivered alcohol with an adult meal prepared on the licensed premises. Need to notify VGCCC of intent to supply.
- 1 x 750ml container of wine or,
- 6 x 375ml per container of beer, cider, or pre-mix
Other businesses seeking to ‘diversify’ are also being granted certain limited liquor licenses, so they can sell and deliver alcohol to their customers, i.e., Butchers Hamper, with condiments and alcohol included.
Again, increasing mechanisms to deploy more alcohol into the community, and more concerningly into the home environment where alcohol and other drugs are contributing to higher rates of familial and intimate partner violence, is not a positive step forward in community health, safety, and well-being.
Such previously interim moves saw increases in these toxic behaviours during Covid restrictions, and anecdata suggests the trend is holding even after Covid restrictions lifted. These further loosening of access and availability options on liquor will only continue to add to this disturbing up-tick in familial harms.
The following data from VGCCC outlines in more detail the changes.
- Extension of trading hours to 1am for certain licence categories | Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (vcglr.vic.gov.au)
- Person placing order is over 18, person receiving order is over 18.
- Must verify ID of person buying and receiving home delivered alcohol.
- First time to delivery at home is the person who places the order must receive the order. But future deliveries to that location no longer require verification.
- The delivery driver must check ID, but they do not have to record anywhere that they have ‘checked it.’
So, the questions ensue.
- How can you prove ID has been sighted, let alone checked, other than the word of the delivery driver?
- What is to stop the residents of the ‘first time’ delivery from exploiting the ‘no need to check further’ caveat to serve minors for future deliveries?
Some other key points:
- Planning Permit always supersede Liquor licence permission. So Local Government regulations in this space supersede Licence permissions. (This can be useful for community health and safety focused Councils to curtail some potential harms from the multiple ‘over-service’ options the under-regulated alcohol market can exploit.)
- Licensees are responsible for third party advertising of their products – Though the industry is still ostensibly self-regulating.