Planning for success at your next event

As featured in the latest edition of the QHA Magazine

If you are considering holding an event where you will be supplying liquor, but cannot accommodate for or prefer to hold this event at premises which are not part of the licensed area under your liquor licence, you will need to obtain a permit for the event.

Planning for such events can be stressful and requires consideration of various moving parts. Below is a summary of points to consider during your planning for an event where you require a permit for the sale or supply of liquor.

commercial public event permit

If you are planning to sell or supply liquor at an event or occasion that:

  1. Is open to the public or casual attendees; or
  2. Is not restricted by personal invitation (for example a birthday party or corporate luncheon); or
  3. Involves payment of an admission fee or fee for entertainment or services at the event; or
  4. Is publicly advertised; and
  5. The event is held somewhere other than your main licensed premises (i.e. the hotel premises),

the event is considered a ‘public event’, and in accordance with Section 102 of the Liquor Act 1992, you will require a commercial public event permit in order to sell or supply liquor at the event.

If you are a holder of one of the following categories of liquor licences, you may apply for a Commercial Public One-Off Event Permit (Permit):

  1. Commercial hotel licence;
  2. Subsidiary on-premises licence;
  3. Subsidiary off-premises licence;
  4. Nightclub licence; or
  5. Artisan producer licence.

Unless you hold an artisan producer licence, your liquor licence must be endorsed with a permanent catering away condition so that your application for a Permit can be approved. If you do not have this condition endorsed on your liquor licence, you will need to apply for this endorsement along with your application for a Permit.

planning for success

To be successful in obtaining a Permit, you should ensure that you have planned the event appropriately. This includes consideration of:

  • properly defining the area for which you require the Permit;
  • ensuring the event is appropriately monitored;
  • ensuring the proposed event, including any entertainment, does not cause undue disturbance or inconvenience to local residents; and
  • obtaining the appropriate consents and approvals.

In preparing an application for the Permit, you must have details of the dates and times for the event, the location of the event, how you intend to define the event area (for example by ropes, temporary fencing etc.), and what you intend to serve attendees of the event.

You will also need to engage/roster specific personnel to ensure you have a bar/duty manager and security that will be available throughout the event. Further details of the operations of the event should be outlined in an Event Management Plan. This Event Management Plan should address all the points in the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) event management planning guide, which can be accessed here.

A copy of this Event Management Plan will need to be lodged with OLGR, along with a site plan which includes the following minimum details:

  • marking for all entrances and exits;
  • the bar/service area;
  • emergency access routes;
  • stage location (if any);
  • seating arrangements;
  • security locations;
  • water, food or vendor sites; and
  • toilet facilities.

other consents

Whether the event premises is controlled by the local council for the area, or by private owner of the land, you will need to obtain consent from the relevant party/individual to hold the event on the proposed dates and times. The local council or owner may have specific conditions for granting their consent to the event being held on their premises, therefore it is important to approach them early in the planning stage for an event to ensure that the parties have agreed on any conditions by the time you are ready to apply for the Permit.

You will also need the local police to be made aware of the proposed event and provide their endorsement. OLGR will confirm this with the local police when considering a grant of the Permit.

It is important that you prioritise the requirements for the Permit in the initial planning of your public event as any applications for a Permit must be lodged at least 28 days in advance of the event. If granted, the Permit may impose conditions which will be noted on the liquor licence and apply to the event for its duration. There are no caps on the number of off-site event permits which may be approved each year, in contrast to the extended trading hour permits discussed in our last article.

If you are planning your next event and require assistance with preparing for and obtaining a Permit, please feel free to contact me.

“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.”
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