Music Victoria and the Victorian Government have been making positive progress to reform regulations and licensing for live music venues in the state of Victoria.
After discussions with Music Victoria, the following reforms have been agreed to by the Victorian Government:
• Under age venues
Currently licensees must obtain approval to hold alcohol-free underage and mix-aged live music events on licensed premises. This reform will remove that requirement.
• Hotels administrative inspections
Currently hotels may be subjected to multiple unannounced compliance inspections by various agencies responsible for aspects of gambling and liquor regulation. This reform will develop a coordinated approach between Victoria Police and the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) for unannounced and planned compliance inspections for gambling and liquor licensees, reducing costs and use of staff time.
• Liquor licence wording
Currently wording of liquor licences lacks standardisation. This reform will introduce more standardised wording and contemporary conditions for liquor licences.
• Liquor licence police checks
Currently only a NPC issued by Victoria Police is acceptable, or for applicants who have lived overseas for more than 12 months over the preceding 10, an NPC from the overseas jurisdiction, to gain VCGLR approval for officeholders of a gaming licensee company. This reform will deem a national police certificate (NPC) offered by the Australian Federal Police to be acceptable reducing costs and delays.
• Temporary liquor licences
Currently a temporary limited liquor licence application must be lodged at least 8 weeks before an event. This reform will streamline the approval process for temporary liquor licences and examine the feasibility of introducing a notification process for repeat and low risk events run by licensees with a sound reputation.
• Small live music venues
Currently small live music venues wishing to undertake work to adapt or renovate to host live music attract permit and approval requirements based on the Building Code of Australia, Building Classification 9(b). This reform will simplify and reduce planning approval for change of land use for small venues seeking to host live music.
• Variation to liquor licences
Currently a variation to a liquor licence must be accompanied by a planning permit; or a letter from a local council that a planning permit is not required. This reform will remove the obligation to supply a “permit not required” letter for a licence variation that does not involve planning permit issues.
In a statement, Music Victoria confirmed its acceptance of the progress so far:
“Music Victoria welcomes the Government’s announced reforms to support the billion-dollar local live music industry.
“Music Victoria has made a number of submissions through the Live Music Roundtable on all ages gigs, the building code of Australia, the planning system, and the environment protection system to remove regulatory burden and support the live music scene.
“We welcome the Government’s initiative to remove onerous requirements in the building code which discriminate against live music, as well as the statement of the Minister for Planning to implement the Agent of Change principle and give it statutory weight.
“Collectively, these reforms will ensure a more vibrant future for artists, venues, and the music loving public.
“We look forward to working with the government through the Live Music Roundtable to support the live music industry which the Minister for Planning has described as “one of Melbourne’s greatest tourism and cultural assets”.
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