Ordinary trading hours for most licensed venues in Queensland are 10am to midnight. A licensee may apply to increase their approved hours to as early as 7am; and as late as 3am on a permanent basis, or 5am temporarily.
Some general comments on trading hours:
- The rules governing trading hours for Community Other and Special Facility licences are not considered on this page. If you require information about these licence types, or on any other matter, please contact us.
- An increase in trading hours, whether on a permanent or temporary basis, does not apply to trading on Christmas Day, Anzac Day or Good Friday except under narrowly defined circumstances. Therefore, licensees with a permanent approval to trade past midnight must close at midnight on the day before each of these special days.
- All licensees (other than Community Other) are approved to trade until 2am on New Year’s Eve and no application is required.
- A permanent increase is known as an ‘Extended hours approval’ and a temporary increase is granted under an ‘Extended hours permit’.
Extended hours approvals
An application for a permanent increase in trading hours will usually need to be supported by a Community Impact Statement and may require advertising. If the application is advertised, members of the public who are affected by the application can lodge an objection. If the application is granted a valid objector will also have appeal rights. A permanent approval triggers an increase in the licensee’s annual licence fees. Current licensing fees are at the OLGR website.
Approval to trade after midnight
- Midnight to 2am – available in all areas of Queensland.
- Note: premises with an on-premises licence, where the principal activity is the provision of meals or prepared food (restaurants and cafes), cannot obtain permanent approval to trade past 1am.
- Midnight to 3am – only available in a Safe Night Precinct.
Approval to trade before 10am
Approvals to trade before 10am are subject to the following additional criteria:
- 7am to 9am
- Community club licences – generally available for golf and lawn bowls clubs. Otherwise the club must demonstrate there is a genuine community need.
- All other licences – only available for sale of liquor to people attending a function on the licensed premises. Functions are defined in the Liquor Act to mean an event or occasion to which people are invited by an organiser, and where the benefit to the licensee is limited to charges for room hire and catering.
- 9am to 10am – only available where the licensee can demonstrate genuine community need for the increased trading hours.
Extended hours permits
Applications for temporary increases require the licensee to pay an application fee calculated on the number of days sought. The application must be lodged at least 21 days before the earliest date sought and must be endorsed by the local police.
Each calendar year a licensed premises may obtain the following maximum number of permits:
- Midnight to 5am – 6 permits;
- Before 10am – 4 permits.
Permits to trade between midnight and 5am
Permits to trade between midnight and 5am are subject to the following additional limitations:
- The permit must relate to special occasion that is:
- a private function that is not open to the public – this includes weddings, birthdays etc; or
- an event of local, state or national significance – this includes certain public holidays, local festivals, televised international sporting events etc; and
- Where the application relates to a special occasion that is a public event, the extended hours must generally coincide with the event; and
- Permits are only available for one special occasion in each calendar month and if the permit is granted for more than one day each day counts towards the annual limit. Examples of how this works are:
- a licensee cannot obtain a permit for New Year’s Eve and Australia Day because they are both in January (the permit for New Year’s Day allows trading on 1 January);
- a permit allowing 3 nights of extended trading for a music festival over a single weekend in a month will be considered 3 permits for the purposes of calculating the annual limit.
For more information on extended hours permits for late night trading see this article.
Permits to trade before 10am
Permits to trade before 10am are subject to the same limitations as permanent approvals (see above).
How we can help
Liquor and Gaming Specialists regularly assists licensees with applications for permanent and temporary extensions of trading hours. For information on our services, please call us on 07 3252 4066 or contact us through this website.