Communities get a say in new Vic bottle-os

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 5th April 2011

New packaged liquor bottle shops in Victoria will be required to apply for planning approval after a change to planning permit requirements by the Victorian Government.

“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. Under the former Labor Government, local communities were shut out of the planning process because bottle shops were exempt from planning laws.”

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

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

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,” Mr Baillieu said.

Bailleu said the move would bring an end to bottleshops being allowed to set up in “inappropriate locations” without community consultation.

“Victorian families will now have the opportunity to comment to their local council under planning laws if they are concerned about the impact or appropriateness of a new bottle shop opening in their local shopping centre,” Mr Baillieu said.