A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will abolish an archaic law that forces residents in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs to vote on whether a wine bar, pub or club can be opened in their area – a law that doesn’t extend to any other Victorian.

Under the current law, which dates back to the 1920s anti-alcohol movement, a handful of suburbs in the Boorondara and Whitehorse council areas are deemed as dry zones.

For a liquor licence to be granted to a hotel, bar or club in these suburbs a compulsory poll of residents must be held.  Since 2012 there have been 20 polls all of which are carried out by the Victorian Electoral Commission.

Since 2004, the compulsory polls have cost Victorian taxpayers almost $500,000 and residents who don’t vote are fined $79.

Parts of the suburbs of Ashburton, Glen Iris, Camberwell, Canterbury, Box Hill, Balwyn, Mont Albert and Surrey Hills are dry areas.

Local residents in these areas will still have input into planning and permit approvals, through local council structures and the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.

Under Labor, this change will bring these parts of our city into line with the rest of our state – making sure that liquor licensing rules are consistent, wherever you live.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“These archaic laws are a waste of money and an unnecessary burden on locals – and we’ll get rid of them.”

“Melbourne’s local pubs, restaurants and bars are part of what makes our city great – this change is good news for our hospitality industry and great for jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Marlene Kairouz

“This change will make our laws the same for all Victorians, wherever they live.”

“Every community gets a say on the granting of liquor licensing – this change will just make our laws consistent.”