Make changes to licensed premises

Changes to the NT Liquor Act

On 1 October 2019, liquor laws changed in the Northern Territory (NT).

Find out about changes to the NT liquor laws.

You must get approval from the Liquor Commission before you make any significant changes or material alterations to your licensed premises.

A material alteration is a non-cosmetic change to the inside or outside of your venue.

This is when the work involves more than just changing the appearance of the premises.

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You need approval for any of the following:

  • changes that need a building certificate, such as a new outdoor beer garden or al fresco area
  • adding extra rooms
  • removing or installing walls
  • installing a new bar
  • increasing the size of an existing bar
  • building or removing walls around the premises
  • any change that will increase or reduce the size of the approved licensed area.

You don't need approval for cosmetic changes like:

  • repainting
  • new tiles
  • new carpet.

Do not make material alterations before getting approval.

If you don't get approval first, you may have to pay to:

  • remove the alteration or
  • restore your venue to an acceptable condition.

To apply for approval, follow these steps:

Step 1. Fill in the application for approval material alteration form:

Material alteration form (702.7 kb)
Material alteration form (693.9 kb)

Step 2. Submit your form with all supporting information and pay the fee at your nearest Territory Business Centre.

You can also email it and a copy of the receipt fee to agd.lrascompliancedwn@nt.gov.au.

Supporting information

Supporting information includes:

  • details of the proposed changes such as plans or concept drawings
  • any necessary planning approvals
  • documentation to support public interest and community impact test
  • a draft notice of the application that will be published.

If you don’t attach all relevant documents, your application will be returned.

If your application is complete, the Liquor Commission will assess it and tell you if you need to advertise your application.

This involves displaying a notice outside your venue. It may also involve publishing a notice in a newspaper.

If you need to advertise your application, you will be notified within 14 days of your application being accepted.

Local authorities like NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services, and the Department of Health will be notified of your application and will be able to give feedback.

If your licensed premises is in a local government area, the local council will also be told and given an opportunity to comment.

After your application has been assessed by Licensing NT, and you have complied with any public notice requirements, your matter will be referred to the Liquor Commission for a final decision.

Public hearing

The Liquor Commission may also have a public hearing to consider your application.

If anyone has objected, they might also attend the hearing.

You will be told before this happens and kept informed throughout the process.

You might also need to depending on what kind of change you want to make.

How your application is assessed

The Liquor Commission will consider all of the following:

  • the proposed changes
  • supporting information
  • any objections and responses to objections
  • public interest and community impact requirements for the proposed changes
  • anything else that is considered relevant.

If you are successful

If your application is successful, you can start making the approved changes.

Once the changes are complete, you must get further approval from the Liquor Commission before you can start selling, supplying or allowing people to drink alcohol in the area.

If you don’t get this approval first, you will be in breach of your licence conditions.

Licensing inspectors may visit your premises before, during and after the changes are made, to check you are following the rules.

If you are unsuccessful

If your application is not approved, you will get a letter explaining why.

The Liquor Commission might refuse your application, or adjourn the matter while you change your application in line with any instructions they make.

If your application is refused or you don’t want to make the requested changes, you can apply at another time.

However, you will have to pay another application fee and there might be extra publishing expenses.

Last updated: 04 October 2019

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