By Andrew Starke

From this month (April) new bottle shops in Victoria will be required to apply for planning approval after a change to planning permit requirements approved by the Coalition Government.

The new guidelines will also be used to help councils assess the impact of other licensed premises within a locality such as hotels and nightclubs.

“Bottle shops and retail outlets selling packaged liquor will no longer be exempted from the planning process,” Premier Ted Baillieu said.

“The Coalition is delivering on its election commitment to require bottle shops to justify their presence in the community in the same way as other licensed premises.

“This means local councils and the community will now have an active role in deciding the location of new bottle shops.”

The Coalition Government’s new permit requirement will be supported with guidelines to help councils assess the cumulative impact of bottle shops in a local community.

Previously under clause 52.27 of the Licensed Premises section of the Victorian Planning Provisions, no planning permit was required for a liquor licensee who sells only packaged liquor for consumption elsewhere.

“Removing this exemption will give communities a say about new packaged liquor outlets in their local area,” Baillieu said.

The decision is a win for the Alcohol Policy Coalition (including VicHealth, Australian Drug Foundation, Cancer Council Victoria and Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre), Liquor Control Advisory Council and the National Local Government Drug and Alcohol Advisory Committee who have long considered the exemption a loophole in Victoria’s alcohol policy.

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The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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