Mariana Valverde argues that in the late twentieth century, the British state contracted out the prevention of disorder and monitoring of risks produced by widespread alcohol use to the private sector through the process of liquor licensing. This paper will argue that this scenario was duplicated in Victoria at the same time. It will do so by an analysis of four government-instigated inquiries into liquor licensing regimes from 1965 to 1998. The inquiries were distinguished by the subtly different emphases in their terms of reference. In 1965, the Phillips Royal Commission was directed to inquire into the best ways of dealing with the problems alcohol produced and how best to regulate it for the benefit of the population as a whole. By the time the Nieuwenhuysen Report was commissioned in 1985, the emphasis had changed, and he was directed to inquire how best to serve the interests of alcohol consumers and to produce the licensing regulatory regime which would enable the construction of a 24-hour city. Any anomalies that still existed in the revised Act were eliminated in the 1998 review which was instigated as a direct response to the National Competition Policy. A consequence of these changes over 30 years was the development of particular risk groups, such as ‘binge-drinking young people’, whose violence and nuisance must be controlled to enable all other ‘reasonable’ and ‘moderate’ drinkers be allowed to keep drinking. Thus the notion of risk had been redefined and the responsibility for dealing with these risks had been directed from the state to individual licensees and individual drinkers.