Liquor reforms to elevate WA tourism and local jobs

Written on the 16 February 2018

Liquor reforms to elevate WA tourism and local jobs
  • Greater flexibility for consumers and businesses under the State's most significant liquor reform in a decade
  • Tourism WA given equal weight when considering liquor licensing applications
  • Licensed restaurants with a capacity of 120 people or less able to serve alcohol without a meal
  • Changes deliver on election commitments and strike the balance between responsible liquor consumption and transforming the tourism and hospitality industry   

The McGowan Government will introduce the most significant reforms to Western Australia's liquor laws in a decade to support local businesses, create more jobs and drive a new wave of activity through WA's vibrant hospitality scene.

Following the success of Mark McGowan's reforms in 2006 that gave rise to Perth's small bars and a new sophisticated drinking culture, the Liquor Control Amendment Bill 2018 will be presented to State Parliament next week.

The Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Western Australia will be given equal consideration to that of the Chief Health Officer and Commissioner of Police when assessing liquor licensing applications.

Under the changes, Tourism WA will be able to put forward a submission regarding the tourism benefits of any application - creating more balance in the consideration of licences.

In addition, a new category will be added to the public interest assessment to allow venues' tourism, community and cultural benefits to be considered as part of a licence application.

Among the raft of proposed amendments, licensed restaurants with a capacity of 120 people or less will be able to serve alcohol without a meal.  Currently, restaurant licensees must lodge a separate application for a permit to allow this authority.

The change reflects a sensible balance between harm minimisation and transforming the drinking culture in Perth by permitting venues to cater for the after-work drinks crowd and giving greater choice to visitors.

Additional common-sense amendments include allowing patrons to take home their unfinished wine bottle when out to dinner at a small bar or tavern.

The McGowan Government recognises the integral link between tourism in our State and making the drinking experience safer and more enjoyable for locals and visitors alike.


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