Liquor Act and Wine Industry Act definitions

Listed below are definitions of some common terms used in the Liquor Act 1992 and the Wine Industry Act 1994.

An approved area is an area of the permittee's premises approved by the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming to provide adult entertainment. For an area to be considered an approved area, it must meet the following requirements while adult entertainment is being provided:

  • The area must be fully enclosed in a way that prevents a person outside the area from seeing inside.
  • The area must not contain—for the private use of persons attending the entertainment—a lounge, booth, compartment or cubicle (other than a toilet cubicle).

It must also meet any another requirements prescribed under a regulation.

An applicant is judged to be a 'fit and proper person' if they:

  • are not a declared bankrupt
  • have had no major convictions within the last 5 years
  • have had no substantial convictions against the Liquor Act 1992
  • have a good reputation, and do not have a history of behaviour that would render the person unsuitable to hold a licence or permit
  • can demonstrate a responsible attitude to managing and discharging their financial obligations.

A function is an event or occasion:

  • to which persons are invited by or on behalf of its organiser
  • that happens in premises hired for the purpose by the organiser.

It does not include:

  • an event or occasion organised by the owner or licensee of the premises in which the event or occasion happens for his or her own benefit, solely or partially (e.g. a promotional event for the premises)
  • an event or occasion organised by another person where the owner or licensee of the premises receives a benefit (i.e. a benefit other than a charge for using the premises and providing catering facilities).

This refers to wine that is made from fruit grown on the licensee's licensed premises or which is made at the premises.

As defined in the Liquor Act 1992, liquor is a spirituous or fermented fluid of an intoxicating nature intended for human consumption, and includes any other substance:

  • intended for human consumption in which the level of ethyl alcohol (ethanol) is more than 5mL/L (0.5%) at 20ºC (e.g. ice confections, jellies and aerosol sprays)
  • containing ethyl alcohol (ethanol) that is prescribed under a regulation as liquor.

Exemption for particular liquors

Some substances defined as liquor are exempt from the provisions of the Liquor Act, including the requirement to have a licence or permit to sell them. This is because some substances containing ethyl alcohol are not intended to be consumed or are used as an additive in food preparation or preservation, with limited risk of harm from consumption.

A substance is exempt if it is used only as:

  • a preservative or medium in which fruit is offered for sale to the public in sealed containers and with the contents visible
  • a food additive or ingredient for food preparation, for example
    • Chinese cooking wine
    • soy sauce
  • personal hygiene products that are not swallowed, for example
    • perfume
    • mouthwash
    • topical disinfectants
  • a medicine, or a product used for medical or chemical purposes, for example
    • cough syrup.

When exemptions do not apply

Exemptions do not apply if the substance is:

  • used as a beverage or for manufacturing a beverage
  • or
  • prescribed in the Liquor Regulation 2002 as not being exempt. Currently this only applies to spirituous cooking essences. These substances are subject to the provisions of the Liquor Act where they are in a container greater than 50mL, or in the case of vanilla cooking essence, a container greater than 100mL.

If a substance is labelled as a food additive or ingredient, but is palatable and generally intended to be consumed without being altered or modified, it will not be exempt, for example table wine that is packaged and labelled as cooking wine.

A nominee is an individual responsible for the licensed premises. A nominee is required if the licensee is:

  • comprised of more than 1 person (partnership or corporation)
  • the licensee at more than 1 licensed premises.

The nominee is responsible for ensuring that wine is sold on the licensed premises only. The nominee has obligations under the Wine Industry Act 1994 and is liable as a licensee for an offense against the Act or failure to meet the obligations.

A non-proprietary club is an association of persons, under whose constitution any income, profits and assets:

  • must only be used to promote the club's objects
  • must not be distributed to the club's members.

A private event is an event or occasion held at premises other than the main licensed premises that:

  • is not publicly advertised or is not open to the public or casual attendance
  • is restricted by personal invitation of the function's host
  • does not involve paying a fee for admission or for entertainment or services provided at the event or occasion.

Examples include weddings, anniversary parties and 21st birthday parties.

A public event is an event or occasion held at premises other than the licensee's main premises that is not a private event; for example, a football game or concert.

For approved managers, 'reasonably available' is defined in the Liquor Act 1992 as:

  • readily contactable by each person involved in the service or supply of liquor at the premises
  • taking no more than 1 hour for the licensee, permittee or approved manager to travel from any place to the premises.

The term 'regular basis' means recurring uniformly in time or manner relating to functions occurring weekly, fortnightly, etc. For more information, read Guideline 08: Definition of 'regular basis'.

Intoxication can now be the result of the consumption of liquor, drugs or another intoxicating substance. The definition also includes the indication of undue intoxication.

A person is considered unduly intoxicated if:

  • the person's speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is noticeably affected
  • there are reasonable grounds for believing the affected speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is the result of the consumption of liquor, drugs or another intoxicating substance.

At all times licensees and staff must follow the existing requirements to not serve, supply to or allow the consumption of alcohol by an unduly intoxicated or disorderly person.

Under the Act, unreasonable noise means noise that:

  • exceeds the limits (if any) prescribed by regulation
  • or
  • contravenes a compliance order that applies to the premises
  • or
  • contravenes a condition that applies to the licence or permit for the premises.

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