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Let’s talk liquor: what you need to know about licensed trading hours

As seen in the July edition of Bowls Queensland's Queensland Bowler magazine.

Do you know about the provisions in the Liquor Act that allow bowls clubs to have extended licensed trading hours? Or the restrictions on trading hours for certain days throughout the year? Learn how to maximise your club’s trading hours with important insights from hospitality partner, Matthew Bradford.

Standard and late night trading

While standard liquor licence trading hours for venues in Queensland are 10.00am-12.00am, seven days per week, clubs can seek approval for late night extended hours to trade until 2.00am, or until 3.00am if they are located within a designated Safe Night Precinct.

Temporary one-off extended hours permits can be obtained for late night trading, but these are limited to six permits per year. These one-off post-midnight permits will only be granted for ‘special occasions’ which must be either:

  • a unique or infrequent special public event of local, state or national significance. Examples include a local music festival or a televised international sporting match involving an Australian team; or
  • a private function not open to the public, such as a wedding or birthday.

Early morning trading

All licensees can apply for early morning extended hours to trade from 9.00am-10.00am if they can demonstrate community need for liquor sales during this period, and community club venues can seek additional early morning extended hours to trade between 7.00am and 9.00am if they can demonstrate community need.

However, because of the unique nature of sporting activities and early morning starts at bowls and golf clubs, there is a presumption that there is a need for liquor sales between 7.00am and 10.00am and therefore bowls and golf clubs do not have to demonstrate community need during these hours.

Non-club licensees can only obtain approval to trade between 7.00am and 9.00am for functions. Temporary one-off extended hours permits can be obtained for early morning trading, but these are limited to four permits per year.

Operating outside approved licensed hours

Of course, a club can still continue to use its premises outside of the approved licensed hours, provided it does not permit the sale or consumption of liquor at these times.

Licensees should also be aware that the Liquor Act allows for a 30 minute grace period after your trading hours cease, to allow patrons to remain on premises to finish off drinks they have already purchased.

Gaming hours

Standard gaming hours for licensees are 10.00am-12.00am. No gaming is permitted before 10.00am. Clubs can seek approval to operate gaming for up to two hours after their liquor licence hours cease. So a club that has approval to sell liquor until midnight could obtain approval to operate gaming machines until 2.00am.

Restrictions for prescribed days

There are also certain prescribed days that have restrictions on trading hours as follows:

  • Anzac Day – you cannot sell liquor after midnight on 24 April. Between 10.00am and 1.00pm on 25 April, liquor can only be sold with a meal. Normal trading hours apply after 1.00pm. However, RSL Clubs are allowed to sell liquor from 5.00am and other clubs can apply to trade from 5.00am if they are hosting an event on behalf of an RSL Club.
  • Christmas Eve – you cannot sell liquor after midnight on 24 December. Gaming must also cease at midnight.
  • Christmas Day – from 10.00am-12.00am on 25 December, liquor can only be sold with a meal. Clubs can sell liquor to patrons one hour before, during, and up to one hour after the patron has their meal. Gaming is not permitted on Christmas Day.
  • New Year’s Eve – all licensees are authorised to sell liquor until 2.00am, without needing to seek an extended hours permit.
  • Good Friday Eve – you cannot sell liquor after midnight on the Thursday before Good Friday. Gaming must also cease at midnight.
  • Good Friday – from 10.00am-12.00am on Good Friday, liquor may only be sold with a meal. Clubs can sell liquor to patrons one hour before, during, and up to one hour after the patron has their meal. Gaming is not permitted on Good Friday.
  • Easter Sunday and Easter Monday – licensees can trade during their usual hours for a Sunday and Monday.

Have you got questions about your club’s liquor licence? Contact Matthew Bradford on 07 3224 0353

"The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication."