Planning

It is important for Local Drug Action (LDATs) to understand Queensland’s liquor licensing laws and how the community can participate in the liquor licensing process.

Information about liquor licensing in Queensland

Find information on the different types of liquor licenses and permits, the liquor licence application process and links to more detailed information.

The QLD liquor licensing system

In Australia, the liquor licensing process varies by state and territory because of the differing legislation. In Queensland:

The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) is an agency of the Queensland Government's Department of Justice and Attorney-General responsible for regulating the liquor, gaming and adult entertainment industries in Queensland.

The different types of liquor licences and permits

A liquor licence states where and when alcohol can be served. Different licences are available to suit different businesses or community organisations (e.g. bar, nightclub, commercial hotel, community club).

In addition to new liquor licences, permits and licence variations are available for existing liquor licensees that want to change or extend the conditions of their licence. Permits are also available for non-proprietary organisations that want to serve alcohol temporarily or at a one-off event.

The liquor licence application process

Application

How the community can find out about new licence applications is covered in Section 3.a.

Liquor licence application forms are located on the Australian Business Licence and Information service (ABLIS), along with detailed information about each licence type and the relevant application fees, renewal fees and other charges. Submitted liquor licence applications are not publicly available.

Liquor licence applications to the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation are accompanied by:

  • a Risk-assessed Management Plan (RAMP). A RAMP is a document that describes a liquor licensee's management practices and procedures at their licensed premises. The purpose of a RAMP is to outline how a licensee will manage their premises in order to minimise harm caused by alcohol abuse and misuse. This is a requirement of the Liquor Act 1992. RAMPs are not publicly available.
  • a Community Impact Statement (CIS). A CIS is a requirement for certain Queensland liquor licence applications. A CIS explains, among other things, how licensed premises will minimise their impact on the local community. CIS is not publicly available

Advertising

Once liquor licence application forms have been successfully lodged, the OLGR may request that signage is placed outside the premises for 28 days. This advertising is to notify the local community about the application.

Approval process

The OLGR grants licences based on whether you are a 'fit and proper' person to hold a liquor licence. Read Guideline 07: Fit and proper or suitable person.

The community impact, public objections and submissions (if any) and the suitability of the premises will also influence the OLGR's decision to grant a licence. Applications for new licences take 4-6 months to process, or longer if there are public objections. If an application is refused, a request for review can be lodged with the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Public objections

Under section 119 of the Liquor Act 1992, applications for new liquor licences, as well as variations to existing liquor licences, are often required to be advertised so the public is aware. The objections process is designed so the general public, nearby businesses, police and council can have their say on liquor licence applications that may impact the local area and affect the lives of people living or working near the licensed premises.

Find more information on public objections to liquor licences.

Also, find more information on how the community can participate in liquor licensing processes and object to liquor licence applications at Delivering community participation in liquor licensing: Key steps.

Set your objectives

Setting objectives for your Community Action Plan activity is an important part of your LDAT planning process.

Some example objectives for community participation in liquor licensing are provided below.

Groups can develop their own objectives, although you may find these a useful starting point.

  • Engage with (xx number) new partners to mobilize community groups to participate in objections to potentially harmful liquor licence applications
  • Establish (xx number) new partnerships with community groups in the next 12 months to support participation in liquor licensing activities
  • Increase community awareness of alcohol-related harms by (xx percent) within the next 12 months
  • Increase community awareness of the impact that alcohol availability has on alcohol-related harm on the community by (xx percent)
  • Increase community awareness by (xx percent) of their ability to contribute in liquor licensing decisions
  • Increase community awareness of the liquor licensing process and how the community can participate in this process by (xx percent) within the next 12 months
  • Improve community participation in the liquor licensing process by (xx percent) within the next 12 months
  • Support (xx number) community groups to submit objections to potentially harmful liquor licence applications within the liquor licensing time frames in the (xx name) community.

Working with community partners

LDATs have a key role in building relationships in the community and finding allies that will support action to reduce the harm caused by alcohol in the community. Key community partners include the local council and police. The local council and police may also object to a new liquor licence, and may be able to assist you with gathering some of the data about your local area (e.g. alcohol-related crime, anti-social behaviour, and property damage).

Liquor accords in Queensland are voluntary associations of liquor industry and community stakeholders. Depending on the area in question, they may involve liquor licensees, police, community members or organisations, and council. They typically seek to address anti-social behaviour and other problems arising from alcohol. Liquor accords may be more or less effective depending on the partners involved, the region in question, and the objectives of the accord. The Business Queensland website offers more detail on accords, including some accord strategies and advice on starting one, as well as a list of the current accords.[5]

It is important for Local Drug Action Teams (LDATs) to work with partners who represent the population groups in their communities. Consider what population groups are in your community and who may be at risk of experiencing alcohol-related harms – you can partner with individuals and organisations who represent these groups. For example, if Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are represented in your community, partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s organisations to make sure local action is responsive to local needs and representative of the community.

Partners may include:

  • local council
  • Queensland Police
  • local health organisations
  • religious organisations
  • schools
  • school-parent committees
  • various community groups (e.g. Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, women’s, migrant and/or refugee, or groups of young people)
  • local businesses
  • Rotary and Lions clubs
  • liquor accords.

See also, Working with community partners.

Determine resources required

An indicative list of resources required for LDATs when facilitating community participation in liquor licensing is listed below. The resources you may need will depend on a number of variables, such as the specifics of the licence application, why you’re objecting to it, and your desired outcomes. Local Drug Action Teams may be able to provide some of these resources or work with partners who can provide additional support.

  • Basic administrative tools, including stationery, office supplies, phones, printing, a workspace for administrative duties.
  • Skilled personnel to coordinate the objection process, including collecting local evidence and formulating a response.
  • Knowledge/materials to engage community members and work in partnership with local organisations.
  • Venue for meetings – this may include in-kind use of a meeting room from a partner organisation including a local library, schools, or community halls (your local council will have a list of available places for community use). It is not appropriate for meetings to be held in people’s homes.
  • Funds for catering at events and meetings.

Consider measures of success

While you are planning your activity, it is important to consider measures of success for your activity. Determine how you will evaluate the success of your activity linking your success measures to your objectives (see Measure your success).