Western Australia

Cheers to WA: Everyone’s a winner under State’s new liquor laws

Western Australians have a reason to celebrate as the WA Government’s new liquor licensing laws come into effect this weekend (August 18-19 2018), ushering in significant changes to the State’s hospitality landscape.

The WA Government’s Liquor Control Amendment Bill 2018 builds upon the revolutionary legislation which saw the growth of the small bar scene in Perth in 2007.

The laws will support local businesses, create more jobs and drive a new wave of activity through the hospitality industry by reducing regulatory burden on licensees and liberalising laws to give greater choice to consumers and visitors to the State.

Among the suite of changes, patrons will be able to take home partially-consumed wine from a small bar or tavern if they choose to finish it later, which currently only applies to restaurants.

The Bill also includes an amendment to streamline licensing arrangements for existing, established, local licensees to cater at temporary and pop-up bars at short-term events such as micro-festivals.

Other amendments to the legislation coming into effect include:

  • Restaurants with the capacity for 120 people or less will no longer need to apply for a separate permit to serve liquor without a meal – they will simply ‘opt in’ when they first apply for their licence;
  • Ongoing hours Extended Trading Permits (ETPs) will be valid for up to 10 years – increased from five years, cutting burden and cost for licensees;
  • Spirit producers will be able to trade in the same manner as wine and beer producers – authorising the sale of liquor for consumption on and off the licensed premises;
  • Clubs in WA will be allowed to accept genuine tourists/visitors – fees will apply to visitors; and
  • Discretion by the licensing authority to consider low-risk applications without having regard to the public interest assessment requirements.

Since January 1, 2018, 114 new licensed venues have opened around the State, creating jobs and adding to the vibrancy and variety of WA’s hospitality industry – under the new changes this number will continue to grow.

Source: WA Government