Be on time. Introduce yourself to Council staff when you arrive.
There will be four areas for participants to sit. The regulatory agencies will sit on one side and the objectors opposite. The applicant and their advisors sit opposite the committee chair and members. The committee will enter the room last – it is customary for all parties to stand while the committee takes their seats.
Follow the direction of the DLC/ARLA chair and respect the authority of the Committee or Authority. When speaking, speak clearly and confidently. If there is a microphone, ensure it is switched on when you speak (these sessions are usually recorded for transcription).
Submissions and cross examination
The hearing will start with the applicant making their case, providing statements and evidence to support their application and rebut concerns the reporting agencies or community objectors have identified. Once the applicant has made their submissions, the District Licensing Committee Chair and members will have an opportunity to ask questions or cross examine the applicant. Next the reporting agencies (Council Inspector, Police, Health) will have the opportunity to cross examine the applicant, followed by community objectors. Next, the reporting agencies will be have the opportunity to make a submission, which the Committee, applicant, and community objectors will have the chance to cross examine. Finally the community objectors have an opportunity to make their submissions. Once again all parties (the Committee, the reporting agencies, and the applicant) will have a chance to cross examine.
After all the submissions have been made and all parties have had a chance to cross examine each others submissions, some closing submissions may be made - sometimes this is done in writing after the hearing to save time on the day. The Committee Chair will usually let everyone know when a decision could be expected.
After the hearing – the decision
You will be advised of the decision and if you are not happy with this you have the right to appeal it. The information about how to do this and when should be included in the correspondence with the decision.
For more information on the Hearing Process, check out the Health Promotion Agency's document on licensing objections (page 24-28).