Changes to the Liquor Licensing | Community Clubs Victoria


Changes to the Liquor Licensing

Sep 16, 2022 | ClubHub

In 2021, the Victorian Parliament passed the Liquor Control Reform Amendment Act 2021 (the Amending Legislation) which introduced amendments to parts of the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 (LCRA).

The amendments to the LCRA have been (and continue to be) rolled out in stages between 16 December 2021 and 31 December 2022. Some of the amendments (implemented and yet to be implemented) may have implications for Clubs’ Rules[1] which Clubs should be aware of.

Expansion of activities authorised under a Club Licence

Clubs should by now be well aware that holders of restricted and full Club Licenses are now permitted to supply liquor to members of the public at club events or functions held on their licensed premises during ordinary hours. This has been the case since the second stage of LCRA amendments came into effect on 15 March 2022. As a result, Clubs no longer need a separate Renewable Limited Licence for those purposes.

Clubs that have held Renewable Limited Licences will benefit from a reduction in unnecessary administration costs. Clubs that did not can now consider hosting events that previously required that additional license.  All Clubs should however be mindful that the Amending Legislation does not affect or alter the Club’s Rules, or the conditions of any existing planning permits which underpin the use of licensed premises. Clubs must still review their Rules and the conditions imposed on their planning permits to ensure that neither needs a change before the Club can utilise the changes to licence conditions permitted by the Amending Legislation.

Changes to the Requirements of Club Rules

Club Rules have long been required to comply with Schedule 1 of the LCRA,[2] which sets out matters which must be prohibited or provided for in a Club’s Rules. The next stage of amendments will include changes to those matters as they apply to incorporated Clubs. A date has not yet been set for these changes to take effect, but we expect a date to be announced relatively soon.

When the changes take effect, Schedule 1 will no longer require an incorporated Club’s rules to provide for a management committee, or for that management committee to be elected for a minimum 12-month term by a class of members representing not less than 60% of the overall membership.[3]

An incorporated Club’s governing legislation (which will depend on the type of entity the Club is) will still impose certain requirements regarding Club management and the appointment of responsible persons for Clubs, but the removal of these requirements from Schedule 1 of the LCRA will enable incorporated Clubs to consider more tailored arrangements for these matters in the Club’s Rules than were previously possible.

The changes are a timely reminder that all Clubs should review their Rules to ensure they are compliant with Schedule 1 of the LCRA and make the required changes at the Club’s next AGM or SGM if they are not. Incorporated Clubs might consider further changes regarding Club management and the appointment of responsible persons for Clubs, but will need to take care that any changes inconsistent with the current Schedule 1 are drafted to be effective only from the date these amendments to Schedule 1 take effect.

Unless a Club’s Rules apply a higher standard, changes to the Rules requires a special resolution passed by 75% or more of votes cast at an AGM or SGM, with at least 21 days notice to members beforehand. Incorporated clubs then need to file notice of the changes with their relevant regulator, which will again depend on the type of entity the Club is.

Wisewould Mahony can assist with the review of Club Rules, suggest changes, and assist with the preparation of special resolutions, meeting notices, and related member communications. We can also assist with planning permit and amendment issues and applications.

Ben Hibbert and Anne Pantelidis
Wisewould Mahony
[email protected]
(03) 9612 7286

[1] Or constitution or other governing document.
[2] Unless the Commissioner determines otherwise in respect of a particular Club license application.
[3] Temporary, honorary, and certain reciprocal rights members are excluded.



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