Liquor Licensing – ACT

Access Canberra is responsible for issuing liquor licences and permits within the ACT and performs regulatory functions under the Liquor Act 2010 (the Act).

The Act aims to strike a balance between the needs of the community and the liquor industry in an effort to minimise the harm arising from alcohol related incidents. All matters will be considered with regard to the impact on community safety. Licensees and permit holders will be expected to understand and manage the risk associated with the sale and consumption of alcohol in the ACT.

The Liquor Amendment Bill 2017 was passed in the Legislative Assembly on 11 May 2017 and makes a number of changes to the ACT’s liquor legislation aimed at reducing alcohol related harm, improving the vibrancy of Canberra’s nightlife precincts, and removing unnecessary regulation for the liquor and hospitality industry.


Currently the objectives of the ACT LIQUOR ACT 2010 don’t reference the live music sector.

The objects of the Liquor Act must be considered in deciding any matter before the licensing authority.

It is important that the Act includes an object that recognises the value and importance of live music. Then, the interests of music become a relevant consideration in licensing matters such as applications, amenity or complaints processes, variations on trading hours and conditions or transfer of licenses.

At this time only New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia have a specific reference to live music and entertainment in the objects of their Acts.


Objects of Act

(1) The objects of this Act are as follows:

(a) to regulate and control the sale, supply and consumption of liquor in a way that is consistent with the expectations, needs and aspirations of the community,

(b) to facilitate the balanced development, in the public interest, of the liquor industry, through a flexible and practical regulatory system with minimal formality and technicality,

(c) to contribute to the responsible development of related industries such as the live music, entertainment, tourism and hospitality industries.

(1)         The object of this Act is to regulate and control the sale, supply and consumption of liquor for the benefit of the community as a whole and, in particular—
(b)         to further the interests of the liquor industry and industries with which it is closely associated—such as the live music industry, tourism and the hospitality industry—within the context of appropriate regulation and controls;VIC – LIQUOR CONTROL REFORM ACT 1998 – SECT 4Objects(1)     The objects of this Act are—

(c)     to contribute to the responsible development of the liquor, licensed hospitality and live music industries; and


5 .         Objects of Act

(2)         In carrying out its functions under this Act, the licensing authority shall have regard to the primary objects of this Act and also to the following secondary objects —

(a)         to facilitate the use and development of licensed facilities, including their use and development for the performance of live original music, reflecting the diversity of the requirements of consumers in the State; and