‘Agent of change’ protection for existing licensees

  • Agent of change principle to protect liquor licensees from new neighbours.

The so-called ‘agent of change’ principle is working its way into Victorian liquor licensing laws, giving existing licensees priority over those new to an area.

The VCGLR will soon be required to consider whether the change in the local amenity comes from changes in the local area, or from the licensed premises.

Licensees will still be dragged through a VCGLR inquiry into whether the amenity of the local area would be harmed it if the liquor licence remained as it is. Such an inquiry starts on request by the VCGLR, one of its licensing inspectors or the local council requests.

The consideration of the new ‘agent of change’ only arises if the VCGLR is considering cancelling, suspending or varying a liquor licence.

The Gambling and Liquor Legislation Further Amendment Bill 2014 (Vic) passed both houses of Parliament on 2 September 2014.

 

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