Licensing Court 1891 hearings

From Hotels of Ballarat

The Licensing Court held hearings in 1891 to decide which hotels should remain open.

Results in Ballarat East[edit | edit source]

The result of the Local Option poll was to close 40 of Ballarat East's 68 hotels.

As reported in the Ballarat Star, September 1891:

LOCAL OPTION IN BALLARAT EAST DECISION OF THE LICENSING COURT. His Honor Judge Gaunt and Messrs Heron and Shuter, P.M’s., who have been sitting as a Licensing Court in Ballarat for the past fortnight, to determine what public houses should be closed in Ballarat East in compliance with the recent local option poll, announced their decision on Saturday morning, at the Supreme Courthouse, Lydiard street, before a large assemblage of publicans and others interested His Honor, the chairman, delivered the decision as follows:—The Legislature has imposed upon us the difficult, responsible, and somewhat unenviable duty of deciding which 40 out of the 68 hotels in Ballarat East shall be deprived of their licenses, as a first step of the result of the poll of the elections recently taken. The court has done everything possible to arrive at a just and equitable conclusion, but it is not to be supposed that it will give satisfaction to all Indeed, there may be cases of individual hardship, but such are not to be avoided. We have taken evidence on be half of the licensees and owners, and from the general public, and have made a careful inspection of every house, and also of the locality surrounding each. We have received valuable assistance from the inspector of the licensing district, and the court has to thank the inspector and the sergeant in charge of the district for the valuable information given in their report...Mr Pearson, on behalf of the legal profession, expressed his thanks to the court for the patient hearing given to the witnesses, and also to Inspector Hamilton and Sergeant Leverton for their impartial report. The court then adjourned sine die[1]

List of hotels to be closed[edit | edit source]

Hotels to be left open[edit | edit source]

Ballarat west[edit | edit source]

A local option poll was held in October 1891, in the City of Ballarat, to determine how many hotels were to be closed:

To-morrow the electors will be called on to determine whether they will retain the number of hotels already licensed in Ballarat West. There are now 116 hotels in the City. The law has fixed 41 as the statutory number, below which the number cannot be reduced. The local option party seek to reduce the hotels to that number. Publicans themselves admit that there are too many, but contend that to close 75 at a time is too drastic. They urge that a reduction by 26 would test the question more equitably, and urge their supporters to vote for that, number. In this, they are supported by the wine and spirit merchants and the brewers. The polling will take place at the Central State school, from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m.[2]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1891 'LOCAL OPTION IN BALLARAT EAST', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 21 September, p. 2. , viewed 31 Mar 2017,
  2. 1891 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 8 October, p. 2. , viewed 19 Feb 2020,