|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The Liquor Control Act 1968 (No.7695) came into operation on 1 July 1968 on which date the Liquor Control Commission was constituted. This Act incorporated a number of recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Sale, Supply, Disposal or Consumption of Liquor in Victoria which commenced in 1963. It marked the end of the system of Licensing Magistrates and Licensing Courts which had operated for over 100 years. The Commission took over the functions previously exercised by the Victorian Licensing Court (VA 2905) and the Licences Reduction Board (VA 2906).
The object of the Act was to ensure the orderly and continuous improvement in, and the development of, facilities for the supply of accommodation, meals and liquor to the public. The Commission was responsible for establishing standards in these areas and ensuring that they were met. It also had the authority to issue or cancel licences. In addition the Act established a new provision whereby the Commission could suspend a licence for a period of time.
Numerous alterations were made in the licensing law and practice of the State, the 1968 Act completely re-writing the law. All fees taken under the Act and all fines, penalties, forfeitures, and moneys incurred or accruing under it were paid into the Licensing Fund set up under the Licensing Act 1958 (No.6293).
The power to increase or decrease the number of licenses issued in certain areas was also afforded to the Commission. Determinations in this respect were usually made on the basis of recommendations from local councils. A completely new code of compensation was set out under the new Act with payments made from the Licensing Fund.
The system of Licensing Inspectors continued, the duties of inspecting premises and enforcing the provisions of the Act being undertaken by nominated members of the police force not below the rank of sub-inspector.
Constitution of the Commission
The Licensing Court (VA 2905) of three members was replaced by the Liquor Control Commission of four members, the chairman being a County Court Judge with a tenure of 7 years. This practice was discontinued in 1976 as a result of the Liquor Control (Chairman) Act 1975 (No.8761) enacted on 18 November 1975 and proclaimed on 4 December 1975. The change meant that the chairman could be a "judicial member" and could retain office until the age of 72 years.
Ministerial responsibility for liquor licensing altered frequently in the period from 1979 to 1985. The Liquor Control Commission was responsible to:
( the Minister for Labour and Industry (VRG 42) between 1979-1982;
( the Minister for Tourism (VRG 89) for a brief period in 1982;
( the Minister for Economic Development (VRG 71) between 1982 and 1983;
( the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Technology (VRG 77) between 1983 and 1985;
( the Minister for Industry, Technology and Resources (VRG 82) from 1985.
Cessation of the Commission
From 1968 to 1988 when the Commission was replaced by the Liquor Licensing Commission (VA 2869) several new types of licences were introduced but the system of registration of licensing remained basically the same. In October 1984 Dr J.P. Nieuwenhuysen undertook a comprehensive review which concluded that licensing practice in Victoria was restrictive and outdated and did not meet the demands imposed by recent social changes. The Government reacted by legislating to effect certain changes to licensing operations and the Liquor Licensing Commission commenced operation on 3 May 1988 under the provisions of the Liquor Control Act 1987.
Location of Records
A significant collection of records of the Commission and its predecessors is held at the Public Record Office, including long runs of Licensing Registers. For the records of Licensing Courts, see VRG 4 Courts and the geographical groupings of courts in the List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, sections 2.8.0-2.256.0