In Hodgkins v Planet Platinum  VCAT 725 the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal determined that it would cancel the liquor licence held by Show Girls Bar 20 (“Bar 20″) which trades in the nightclub precinct on King Street, Melbourne.
The case is interesting for a number of reasons. First it summarizes the law governing liquor licensing under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998. Secondly, it addresses the particular controls that apply to venues such as Bar 20 pursuant to the Prostitution Control Act 1994.
It seems that each time a violent incident involving alcohol occurs in the CBD there is a media clamor for more legislative control. Hodgkins suggests that a strong legislative framework already exists. The real issue seems to be the resourcing that is given to enforcing the legislation that is already in place.
Ultimately this case turns on findings by the Tribunal that the continuing operation of Bar 20 is likely to have a negative impact of the amenity of the area. The Tribunal notes that it’s determination must be in the public interest. It will be interesting to see whether this case is the first in a series of cancellations for “trouble spots” or whether it will be a one off.