You will need a permit for your event if you are selling or serving alcohol.
You, as the event organiser are responsible for the service of alcohol at your event.
The Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 stipulates that anyone selling or serving liquor needs to obtain the correct licence. A liquor licence is required whenever liquor is supplied either directly or as part of an inclusive charge.
There are different types of licences required for certain types of events or selling arrangements.
- Temporary Limited Liquor Licence: Apply to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulations (VCGLR)
- Major Events Licence: Apply to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulations (VCGLR)
- Consumption of Liquor Permit: Apply to City of Greater Geelong Local Laws Unit.
Deciding on the correct permit
The Victoria Police and a Council Licensing Officer can offer you advice as to what sort of permit you should apply for and provide you with feedback in relation to your Liquor Management Plan.
Along with obtaining the correct licence, you will also be required to develop a liquor management plan.
Once you have applied for your licence, you can check its status by going to Liquor Licences and Applications Online.
Liquor Management Plan
Before lodging your licence application you should have the following information available:
- an overview of the event program and target audience
- location and number of security and their role/s
- location of alcohol service area/s on the site plan
- maximum number of people attending the event
- plans to control the serving of alcohol to people over the age of 18 years, this advice should include person/s can purchase four alcoholic beverages at any one time and the type (strength)
- plans to ensure that patrons leave the venue in an orderly manner
- consideration to the price of alcohol
- times that alcohol will be available
- type of drinking containers that the alcohol will be served in (suggest polycarbonate, cans or plastic and no glass)
- types of alcohol available
- venue/s or locations within the site that are serving alcohol
- who is serving the alcohol and are they all RSA trained
- will there be ‘token or cash’ arrangements for purchasing alcohol over the bar
- wristbands to ensure participants are eligible to purchase alcohol
- site plan to include the red line area, alcohol will be available to purchase and consumed.
Under the Food Act 1984 the sale of beverages and alcohol are considered ‘food’ and therefore require a Temporary Food Permit.
If your application is successful, your licence will stipulate the conditions under which you (the licence) may operate.
If you will have alcohol at your event, the City’s Events Unit requires an Alcohol Management Plan to be included in your Event Plan.
Safe and legal management of alcohol should form part of your Risk Assessment also.
Types of Liquor Permits
Temporary Limited Liquor Licence
A Limited Liquor Licence is required for events that are one-off (providing they are not classified as a "major event").
- extension of trading hours at a licensed premises
- indoor theatre productions of limited duration
- point of sale at a sporting club’s game day (you must provide a full description of the location of the point of sale); if not endorsed on the permanent licence
- private functions held indoors such as a wedding, trivia night, 21st birthday, ball or presentation night
- sales promotions of limited duration, eg. gift hampers, mail order, internet sales, wine drives.
For more information and to make application, go to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulations (VCGLR) website
An application for temporary limited licence should be lodged at least 8 weeks before the event commences.
Major Events Licence
A major event licence is required for promoters, businesses or clubs holding large-scale events that are likely to have a significant impact.
- where you expect a large crowd (over 5,000 patrons) to attend and/or have a significant impact taking into account certain criteria.
- requiring significant regulatory enforcement effort or oversight
- having a significant impact on the provision and organisation of public transport or emergency services
- having a significant impact on public safety and/or the amenity of the area in which the event is to be held
- wineries planning to be a stall holder at a Major Event – advice should be sought from VCGLR by the event organiser as to what permits need to be applied for. Don’t assume that if the winery has a licence (i.e – cellar door or individual) that this will be the only licence they need to apply for
- VIP areas, pop up bars at a venue, outside its normal use that exceed 5,000 people.
Please note: your alcohol permit may not stipulate conditions however, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulations (VCGLR) expect that the local agencies, such as the Police and Council representatives, further stipulate conditions.
These conditions may be in reference to the amount, type and role or security guards, the type of fencing to delineate the ‘red line area’ signage and the management of minors in the area etc.
You will be expected to demonstrate as to how you will adhere to and implement these conditions in your Event Management Plan.
How to apply for Major Events Licence
For more information and to make application go to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulations (VCGLR) website
An application for a major event licence should be lodged at least 3 months before the event. The licensed area must be included in your Site Plan and POPE application.
Download and complete the Major Event Licence Application Form (PDF, 833 KB). Details on how to lodge your completed application are included in the form.
Lodging an application does not mean that the application will be approved. You should not advertise or promote the selling of liquor at your event before approval is granted.
Consumption of Liquor Permit
If the Victoria Police Licensing Inspector and the City of Greater Geelong's Liquor Licencing Officer determines that a Consumption of Liquor in a Public Place Permit is appropriate for your event, then an application for Consumption of Liquor in a Public Place Permit can be made through City of Greater Geelong Health & Local Laws Unit.
Permits are generally issued with conditions such as the serving area needs to be contained within a fenced area, entry is restricted to people aged over 18 years, specified number of security staff and no glass.
The permit will also be subject to approval and conditions set by the Liquor Licensing Inspector at Geelong Police.
Applicants will need $10 million public liability cover.
Permit conditions need to be included in your Liquor Management Plan.
This recommendation is usually only made for a private function rather than for an event.