Guideline 35: Licensed areas

Liquor Act 1992—Sections 58 and 154

The Liquor Act does not contemplate the licensing of separate or detached premises under 1 licence with the exception of detached bottle shops which are specifically provided for under Section 60(1)(d).

In considering whether to grant an application for a licence under the Act or an application to change the licensed area, which includes detached buildings or land, the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming must ensure that the licensed premises are able to be appropriately defined and form 1 premises.

Factors considered by the Commissioner in determining a premises include, but are not limited to:

  1. whether the parcels of land involved are contiguous or adjacent, or close to each other
  2. where there is an identifiable connection between the several components of the premises usually of a physical or visual type
  3. separate components have some physical or functional unity or integrity
  4. the components appear to constitute 1 place of business and give an appearance of oneness.

Examples of a premises can include:

  • instances where parts of a licensed premises, such as the main premises and a liquor barn/bottle shop, or an accommodation block are separated by a private easement, car park, access way or roadway, and it is impractical or impossible to include these areas on the licensed area
  • a resort-style facility where multiple accommodation blocks are located on different parcels of land, forming 1 complex under the licensee’s control
  • clearly defined special facilities and tourist attractions (e.g. the Southbank precinct), where a combination of liquor and non-liquor related businesses collectively contribute towards the precinct’s operations
  • a half-way house on a golf course.

In considering whether the premises are sufficiently contiguous, the Commissioner will consider the totality of factors.

The following characteristics are considered relevant in assessing the above factors.

Proximity between premises

Proximity is a question of degree. Premises that are situated close to each other may be considered favourably, such as premises that are located on the same lot of land or in the same shopping centre.

Despite any geographical proximity, detached premises that are separated by multiple lots of land and/or other businesses/buildings are less likely to be considered as 1 premises.

Line of sight

Direct line of sight between premises is a characteristic that may be considered favourably, where the line of sight between the different areas is obvious to patrons of both areas.

Common colour scheme

Premises that are painted with common colour schemes is a characteristic that may be considered favourably. The colour scheme of the 2 premises will be assessed against the adjoining buildings. For example, lesser weight will be given to colour schemes that are not distinctive and are common in the locality.

Complementary signage

Premises that have complementary signage is a characteristic that suggests contiguity. However, lesser weight will be given to this characteristic. At minimum, the Commissioner expects that the signage of the premises will have a common colour scheme and design. The signs should also provide directions and instructions to members of the public that the 2 premises are connected as 1 business.

Similarity of building designs

Buildings that have the same architectural design may be considered favourably. For example, where 1 building is heritage listed and another building is designed as a modern office building, it will not be a characteristic viewed favourably.

Applicants are encouraged to lodge written submissions in the first instance to demonstrate how disparate premises meet all the abovementioned criteria.

An exception to this general rule of contiguity is made in relation to producer/wholesaler licences, which by virtue of their wholesaling nature, require an office and a warehouse. These 2 facilities that must form the licensed area may be non-contiguous.

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