The new liquor licensing laws introduced by Western Australia’s government has come into effect. The government believes the laws will significantly impact the hospitality landscape in the state.
The Liquor Control Amendment Bill 2018 aims to build on the legislation that prompted the expansion of Perth’s small bar scene, creating jobs and supporting local businesses.
According to the state’s premier Mark McGowan the legislation strikes the right balance between community health and safety and a hospitality culture that promotes tourism.
So far this year more than 100 new licensed venues opened in the state, attributed to the government’s support for the industry.
The new legislation reduces regulatory burdens on licensees and laws are liberalised to give the state’s consumers and tourists more choice.
One of the changes is that patrons are allowed to now take home partially consumed wine from a small bar or tavern if they don’t finish the whole bottle – previously this only applied to restaurants.
Another amendment is the streamlining of licensing arrangements for existing, established, local licensees to cater at temporary and pop-up bars at short-term events such as micro-festivals.
A post on TheShout.com.au highlighted some of the other amendments to the legislation that came into effect,
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.
The new laws were welcomed by the Australian Hotels Association (WA) CEO Bradley Woods saying its important that the state’s laws change with the industry and not inhibit it.
“The recent passage of the Liquor Control Act Amendment Bill represents the most substantial modernisation of the state’s liquor laws in a decade.
“It is critical that the laws governing liquor licensing, consumption and trade on licensed premises are in line with community expectations, help facilitate businesses to grow and do not unnecessarily restrict patrons or licensees. The reforms which commence on Saturday deliver on these objectives.
“The AHA(WA) is proud to have played an important role on behalf of our members in lobbying Government on the need for change and we are pleased to have achieved the overwhelming majority of what we set out to accomplish.
He also said his organisation was proud of the role it played in lobbying government on behalf of its members which had contributed to these changes.