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Liquor Licensing Forums - Are They Worth It?

Liquor Licensing Forums - Are They Worth It?

Liquor Licensee Forums are regular meetings between local liquor industry stakeholders such as Licensees, Police, Council Officers, staff from the VCGLR, and others. They are designed to build ongoing professional relationships between the various stakeholders operating within the industry, and are aimed at providing a setting for information sharing and problem solving. Forums also provide venue operators the chance to meet and discuss issues of concern with local authorities and other licensees.

Liquor Forum meetings occur at different intervals depending on needs within the local area. As an example, the Melbourne Licensees Forum generally meet once every three months, whereas smaller regionally based forums may only meet on an annual or twice-yearly basis.

Liquor Licensing Forums are designed to develop a co-operative approach to problem solving, and to provide the opportunity to maintain effective communication between the Victoria Police, council, licensees, and other key stakeholders.

The most effective liquor forums have a broad membership base and are typically made up of:

  • The Victoria Police Licensing Inspector (and other appropriate police members)
  • Licensees, nominees, and managers of licensed premises
  • Council officers (including planning department staff)
  • Staff from the VCGLR (and sometimes Commissioners themselves)
  • Other community representatives

Liquor Licensing Forums support the harm minimisation principles of the Liquor Control Reform Act and attendees of these meetings generally have a clearer understanding of their obligations. This can also lead to higher levels of compliance within the industry. Meetings focus on specific industry issues, including:

  • Security management
  • Emergency management
  • Patron behaviour
  • Drink spiking
  • Smoking bans.

In addition to these issues, each meeting includes an open forum and dedicated time for informal networking.

Are you a member of your local liquor forum or accord? There are more than 80 liquor forums across Victoria. If you would like to join a liquor forum, contact the one closest to you. You can find your local forum via the VCGLR website.