Event organisers who want to apply for a special licence to sell or supply alcohol are reminded that they need to submit applications at least 20 working days ahead of their planned summer events.

Between 20 December and 15 January, there are no ‘working days’, which means events planned for February 2022 or earlier must have applications lodged by Monday, 6 December 2021.

Special licences can cover one-off or short duration events, and sometimes larger events, such as wine and food festivals. People who want to sell or supply alcohol over the Christmas period and into February need to know the rules and be prepared.

Event organisers are encouraged to:

  • Think ahead to any events you have coming up over Christmas, New Year and into early-February 2022.
  • Download application forms from the relevant council website. In some cases, if you have a number of `related events’ you can put them together on one application to form a series. Your local council can confirm whether your events meet the criteria for a series and the applicable fee that will be charged.
  • Use the supplied check-sheet, which outlines everything that is required to be submitted with your application.
  • Contact your local council if you have any questions.

The date of an approved special licence can be postponed for up to one year if COVID-19 Alert Level restrictions, or any other unforeseen circumstances, mean the event cannot be held.

The special licence process aims to reduce alcohol-related harm and ensures that events are as safe as possible for everyone attending them.

The Police and Medical Officer of Health, who are required to report on your application, need time to carry out their part of the process effectively. While late applications may be accepted when a genuine reason can be offered, there can be no guarantee that a licence can be issued when the time frames are not met.