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Department of Justice, Victoria, Australia
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Liquor > Minors on licensed premises
Minors on licensed premises - TranscriptPrint this Page  
This page is a transcript of the audio publication: Minors on licensed premises (mp3, 1MB).

Hello, my name is Anna Lygopoulos. Welcome to the next lesson in Consumer Affairs Victoria's series of audio lessons. Our subject today is about when minors are allowed to remain on licensed premises. I'm joined by Phil Eager, Senior Sergeant at the Victoria Police Liquor Licensing Unit

Hello Phil, in our last audio lesson we covered minors being on licensed premises in the company of a responsible adult, under what other circumstances is a minor allowed on a licensed premises?

Hello Anna. There are a number of exceptions where minors are allowed on licensed premises, these being if:
  1. they are having a meal
  2. they are a resident of those premises
  3. they are employed in duties other than the supply of liquor
  4. it is an on premises licence with restaurant conditions
  5. it is as part of a hospitality training course, or
  6. if they have the approval of the Director of Liquor Licensing to be there.
Let's look at those exceptions one at a time, what is meant by a meal?

It has to be a substantial meal, but what that means has not been tested in court.

So what is a licensee meant to do?

We advise they play safe. Normally this would mean requiring people to be seated and eating with a knife and fork. If you depart from this you enter into a legal "grey area".

A resident means they are living at the premises?

Yes, this might be a hotel or motel. Another example might be the licensees' family living above the hotel.

What might a minor be employed to do?

Anything, other than the supply of liquor. They can work in the kitchen, clear plates and drinks, take food to tables, clean up, be in a band – just so long as they don't supply liquor.

In our previous audio lesson we talked about what it means to supply liquor.

What is an on-premises licence with restaurant conditions?

This is a particular type of liquor licence with particular conditions placed on it. Minors are allowed to be there without meeting the other exceptions, so long as it's between the hours of 7.00am and 11.00pm.

So if they are a restaurant, minors are allowed in there?

No, just because a business may call themselves a restaurant does not mean they have this particular licence type with those particular conditions on it. It is not uncommon to have a venue without the restaurant conditions on the licence promote themselves as a restaurant and bar.

Licensees need to read their licence to see whether this exception is available to them.

Why do we have this exception?

Sometimes minors may want to have a coffee in a place such as Lygon Street. This exception allows that to occur, so long as it is clearly a place whose primary purpose is the serving of meals. That is demonstrated by having an on premises licence with restaurant conditions placed upon it.

With training courses, don't minors have to have the Directors approval to be there as part of their training?

They can be there as part of a training course in hospitality without the Director's approval. The course provider only has to have the Directors approval if serving alcohol is part of that training. If the licensee is unsure about that approval they should ask the course provider to show them the letter of approval from the Director.

Does the Director give this approval in any other circumstance?

Not for serving liquor, but there are regular circumstances where approval is given for minors to be on licensed premises.

Such as?

In sporting clubs, for juniors, on match days and on presentation nights. For underage events at night clubs are two examples.

Finally, are minors allowed to have an alcoholic drink on licensed premises?

Yes, if they are partaking in a meal and with their spouse, parent or legal guardian. The law, however, does not give them the right to a drink but rather gives permission for it to occur if the licensee so desires. It is not uncommon for a licensee to have a house policy that they won't serve liquor to minors. Some have a house policy that they can have one glass of wine. The final decision on this matter rests with the business.

Can the minor approach the bar and order a soft drink?

Yes, if the licensee wants to allow this to occur. It's the licensee's choice. Many premises have a house policy against this occurring because they don't think it looks good to have children coming up to the bar.

Thankyou Phil. Until next time this is Anna Lygopoulos from Consumer Affairs Victoria.
    This audio publication is published by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

    Because this publication avoids the use of legal language and information about the law may have been summarised, or expressed in general statements, or involve expressions of opinion, this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional legal advice or reference to the actual legislation.

    Copyright, State of Victoria 2007.
    Authorised by the Victorian Government, 121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000.