Liquor Reforms Are Set To Reinvigorate Perth's Nightlife

Cutting ‘red tape’

15 February 2018

Article heading image for Liquor Reforms Are Set To Reinvigorate Perth's Nightlife

The most significant reforms to Western Australia's liquor laws in a decade will be introduced in a move to support local businesses, create more jobs and drive a new wave of activity through Perth's nightlife.

Among 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.

Premier Mark McGowan said the changes would “cut red tape” and bring in a more common-sense approach to liquor licensing.

"Our small bar scene changed the face of Perth, it drove new economic activity and injected life into the heart of the city and towns across our State - and it didn't cost taxpayers a cent,” he said.

"I want to pick up from where I left off and encourage more vibrancy in our hospitality industry and make it easier for local businesses to do business.

"Tourism is a key economic driver for WA and plays a vital role in the State Government's plan to diversify the State's economy and create new jobs.

"Since our first wave of reforms in 2006, 118 small bars are now operating across our State and with these further changes, we hope to see more innovative small businesses opening, creating more jobs for Western Australians."

Under the changes, 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.

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

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

The changes aim to reflect "a sensible balance" between harm minimisation and transforming Perth's drinking culture in by permitting venues to cater for the after-work drinks crowd and giving greater choice to visitors.

The Liquor Control Amendment Bill 2018 will be presented to State Parliament next week.

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