Planning

It is important that LDATs understand Tasmania’s liquor licensing laws and how the community can participate in the liquor licensing process.

Information about liquor licensing in Tasmania

Find information on the Tasmanian (TAS) liquor licensing system, the different types of liquor licences and permits, and the liquor licence application process. Further information on how the community can participate in liquor licensing processes and lodge a representation to liquor licence applications is outlined in Map your steps.

The TAS liquor licensing system

In Australia, the liquor licensing process varies by state and territory as a result of the differing legislation. In Tasmania:

The Liquor Licensing Act 1990 controls the sale and supply of alcohol.

The Commissioner for Licensing grants liquor licences in Tasmania, but may elect to refer the application to the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission. The Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission serves as the appeal body for the Liquor Licensing Act 1990.

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).

More information about liquor licence types can be found here.

The liquor licence application process

Application

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

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 Liquor and Gaming Branch and are accompanied by a submission that addresses how the application will be in the best interests of the community, as well as how the applicant will exercise effective control and minimise harm when serving alcohol at their premises. More information can be found here.

Advertising

The applicant is required to place a public notice on the premises. The Commissioner may also ask for the notice to be published in a local newspaper. This advertising is to notify the local community about the application.

Approval process

The Commissioner grants licences based on whether you are a 'fit and proper' person to hold a liquor licence, if you can effectively control the service and consumption of liquor, and if you have the appropriate experience, competency and knowledge.

Read Qualifications for A Liquor Licence for more information.

The community impact, public representations (if any) and the suitability of the premises will influence the Commissioner’s decision to grant a licence. Applications for new licences can take between 8 to 12 weeks to process, or longer if there are representations. If an application is refused, a request for review can be lodged to the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission.

Public representations

Under section 23(4) of the Liquor Licensing Act 1990, applications for new liquor licences are required to be advertised so the public is aware. A public notice may also be requested by the Commissioner if the licensee applies for a variation to their liquor licence. The representation 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.

The community has 14 days from the advertisement of a licence application to respond. An objection to a licence application is called a representation and it’s made to the Commissioner for Licensing.

More information on representations to liquor licences.

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 'x number' new partners to mobilize community groups to participate in objections to potentially harmful liquor licence applications
  • Establish 'x 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 'x%' within the next 12 months
  • Increase community awareness of the impact that alcohol availability has on alcohol-related harm on the community by 'x%'
  • Increase community awareness by 'x%' 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 'x%' within the next 12 months
  • Improve community participation in the liquor licensing process by 'x%' within the next 12 months
  • Support 'x number' community groups to submit objections to potentially harmful liquor licence applications within the liquor licensing time frames in the 'x 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 Tasmania 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.[1]

It is important for 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
  • Tasmanian Police
  • local health organisations
  • religious organisations
  • schools
  • school-parent committees
  • various community groups (e.g. Aboriginal, women’s, migrant and refugee, young people’s)
  • local businesses
  • Rotary and Lions clubs
  • liquor accords.

Useful resources: Working with community partners.

Determine resources required

Below is an indicative list of resources required for LDATs when facilitating community participation in liquor licensing. 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 representation 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).