License Register of Applications and Other Proceedings - Benalla
||By 1881 - ? 1954
||Series in Custody
||1881 - 1954
||1881 - 1954
|Format of Records:
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|Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series|
|Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series|
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Order and view records containing date ranges of interest.
- Function / Content
Background - Liquor Licensing
Since the time of first permanent settlement in Victoria there have been over 60 pieces of legislation passed relating to liquor licensing. Types of liquor licences and permits have varied over time. In 1836 there were two licence types, publicans and packet (or ships) licences, with a provision for liquor to be sold at special functions, such as fairs. By 1985 there were over 35 licence and permit types aimed at satisfying the public demand for services and facilities. Act 97/1987 reduced the number of basic licence and permit types to seven licences and two permits.
There have been four broad categories of licences and permits.
A licence is granted to specified premises or parts of premises and allows, under certain terms and conditions, liquor to be sold, supplied or consumed on those premises. Licences, once granted, may be renewed annually.
A permit is granted for licensed, and in some instances for unlicensed, premises to allow variations to terms and conditions of the licence or original permit; for example, to allow extended hours of trading or to open additional bars. Such permits may be renewable annually.
Unlicensed premises permits allow liquor to be supplied, controlled and consumed on specified unlicensed premises subject to terms and conditions imposed. In some instances these permits are renewable annually. Terms include that a meal or substantial refreshment be provided. Bring-your-own (BYO) restaurants are unlicensed premises.
Particular occasion permits allow liquor to be supplied, sold, controlled or consumed on specified premises at particular functions or occasions such as social gatherings, sporting events etc. Both licensed and unlicensed premises could apply for these at some periods.
Licence registers can be broadly identified as recording two related but separate functions:
hearings of applications for annual granting or renewal of licences or permits; and
hearings for general licence and permit applications including: transfer of licences; new licence and permit applications; temporary and booth licences; permits to vary terms of a licence; alterations to licensed premises; particular occasion or function permits; hearings of offences under the licensing acts; etc.
Annual and general hearings have consistently been recorded separately, either in separate volumes or in separate sections of the same volume. Some general matters may be recorded in separate volumes dedicated to a specific licence or permit types.
Register are generally bound volumes with entries recorded across double pages in a column format. Column headings vary but information recorded may include the following:
case number; setting down fee; licence/permit/receipt number; licensing district or area; name of applicant; name and location of premises; type of application; licence/permit fee; result of application; conditions attached to granted application; remarks.
Entries are followed, either after each entry or after entries for a particular date or period, by the signatures of the persons empowered to grant the applications.
The registers do not record the issuing of a licence or permit but rather the result of the application for such licence or permit. The procedure was that once an application was approved or granted, a certificate would be issued. The certificate would authorise the issue of the licence or permit to the applicant upon payment of the prescribed fee.
Up to January 1886 licence registers frequently record both liquor and non-liquor licensing application hearings. From February 1886 liquor and non-liquor applications were recorded in separate volumes. Some series known as licence registers that span the pre and post 1886 period may record, from 1886, either liquor or non-liquor licences exclusively.
Types of non-liquor licences vary but include:
- hawkers and pedlars; auctioneer's; carrier's; slaughterer's; collector's; real estate agent's; etc.
Up to 1916 licensing registers were created and maintained in local courts of petty sessions at which meetings of justices, licensing benches, licensing magistrates or courts sat. Records for that period have been attributed to such local courts as creating agencies. Since 1916 centralisation of the licensing function saw records relating to different licensing matters being created either centrally, in Melbourne, or at courts of petty sessions appointed as licensing courts.
From 1 January 1917 the Licensing Court of Victoria (L.C.V.) came into being. This Court was a tribunal made up of three licensing magistrates who were also the members of the Licenses Reduction Board (VA 2906). Certain Courts of Petty Sessions within licensing districts were specified by the Governor-in-Council to be Licensing Courts at specified times and the clerks of such courts to be clerks of the Licensing Court. The L.C.V. conducted hearings for licensing matters for each district either at the court in the licensing district or centrally in Melbourne. Depending upon the type of applications being considered, the L.C.V. could be constituted by one or more of its members. Some matters could be dealt with by the clerks of the Licensing Court.
In 1954 the Victorian Licensing Court replaced the L.C.V.. It operated similarly to the L.C.V. although specific courts were not identified as licensing courts. The Governor-in-Council did, however, specify places at which clerks of Petty Sessions could act as clerks of the Licensing Court.
In 1968 the V.L.C. was replaced by the Liquor Control Commission. The L.C.C. was not a court of record but was able to conduct proceedings as it saw fit which included the exercise of powers under the Evidence Act 1958. Certain clerks of Courts of Petty Sessions could act as deputy secretaries to the Commission. As such, the clerks were able to accept the lodgement of applications under the Liquor Control Act and to exercise certain powers such as granting of permits and booth licences.
In 1988 the Liquor Licensing Commission replaced the L.C.C.. Administration of the licensing legislation was simplified and, with the introduction of computerisation, the use of registers in the court register format was discontinued.
The Licensing Act 1885 (49 VIC., No.857) was the first act that clearly defined licensing districts. Prior to that Act, licensing hearings were generally held at the Court of Petty Sessions nearest to the premises that were the subject of the application. Section 15 of Act 857 defined a Licensing District as being equivalent to one division of an Electoral District as defined by the Electoral Act Amendment Act 1876. By proclamation dated 2 February 1886 there were 320 Licensing Districts from that date. Section 37 of Act 857 provided that there should be a court of record called the Licensing Court to be held at Courts of Petty Sessions within Licensing Districts or any other Licensing District adjacent thereto.
The number of licensing districts and licensing courts was reduced over time by subsequent legislation. The Licensing Act 1922 (13 Geo.V., No.3259) amended the definition of a licensing district to being equivalent to an Electoral District (rather than a division of an electoral district) as defined by the Constitution Amendment Act 1915 (6 Geo.V., No.2632). By Order-in-Council dated 26 June 1923 (see Victorian Government Gazette No.84, 4 July 1923, page 1709) 24 Courts of Petty Sessions were identified as places at which Licensing Courts for the 65 new Licensing Districts should be held once at least in every six months. 32 places at which clerks of Courts of Petty Sessions could discharge the duties of clerk of the Licensing Court were also identified by the Order. It was also possible for applications originating in one licensing district to be heard at a licensing court other than that designated by the order, such as at Melbourne.
It can be seen from the above information that licensing registers which recorded information relating to a particular licensed premises could have been created by different courts at different times.
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