New WA Law to Slash Cops Booze Powers

In Western Australian, the Police Commissioner has the power to intervene in liquor licence applications if he believes granting the application would contribute to crime and violence – these are the laws the state government is considering amending, which would take away these powers from the police commissioner.

Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has intervened in 535 applications between 2011 and 2012 but under the proposed amendment to the Liquor Control Act, the commissioner would only be able to intervene about the licensee or applicant being a fit and proper person, or if the Director of Liquor Licensing requested a report.

While the proposed amendments were welcomed by some groups, others weren’t as welcoming. A selected number of groups have been issued a discussion paper for comment, however it has not been publicly released.