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When bigger is better – how to take your next event to a new level

As seen in the October/November edition of Club Insight (Issue 5).

By their very nature, Clubs are community hubs built for entertaining and fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging. There is no better place than your local - or somebody else’s local - for a convivial drink and social gathering. So it is no surprise that Clubs like to maximise the good times by hosting a myriad of events for their members. There are many reasons why a Club might hold an event, including for fundraising, charity, publicity or annual tradition. 

A successful event will require many hours of effort and planning by the Club management and members. We can take a load off by giving you some tips about applying to temporarily increase your licensed area to make the most of your space, so you can focus on bringing the entertainment.

Maximise your surroundings

Unlike ‘Commercial Hotel Licences’ and ‘Commercial Other - Subsidiary On-Premises Licences’, Clubs with a Community Club Licence cannot apply for a Commercial Public Event Permit to sell liquor while providing catering facilities at an off-premises function.

While Community Clubs may not have the option to cater away through one of these permits, they can spice up their usual event protocol by applying to increase their licensed area to include an area that is not already part of their licence. Applications to increase the licensed area will generally only be granted if the area to be included on the licence is adjoining the areas already licensed, such as a sports field, car park, park or footpath. Additionally, as this is a temporary increase, the approval will only be granted for the purpose of a temporary occasion.

Licensees will have to obtain Queensland Police consent for any temporary increase application and the consent of the local council if the area being added to the licence is council controlled land.  These applications must be lodged at least 21 days prior to the event date, so it is important to plan ahead if you are intending to think outside the box and utilise surrounding resources for your next event.

Car park perks

Another way that Clubs can maximise their entertaining space for events and functions is the use of the car park area. As mentioned above, you will be able to temporarily increase your licensed area to utilise your car park if it does not already form part of your licensed area. However, even if your car park already forms part of your licensed area, you can only sell, supply and allow consumption of liquor in the car park by making the appropriate application with the OLGR for the event.

Usually, Clubs will be able to determine whether their car park forms part of their licensed area by checking the licensed area description on their licence document for wording such as “Premises situated at ….” or there will be a specific reference to the inclusion of the car park. The use of the car park can be for a maximum period of up to three months only.

Early in the planning stages, you should seek the co-operation, involvement and assistance of appropriate experts, the OLGR, the Queensland Police Service and your relevant local council. This will go a long way to ensuring that your Club gets the maximum benefit out of its unique location and the good times at your Club continue to roll.

If you would like more information about applying to temporarily increase your licensed area for the purpose of an event, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Article written by Matthew Bradford (Partner) and Frances Kelly (Solicitor)

"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."