The WA Government is aiming to boost the state’s hospitality scene following the introduction of new reforms to WA’s liquor laws.
The Liquor Control Amendment Bill 2018 will be presented to State Parliament next week, which will support local businesses, create more jobs and drive new hospitality activity.
“We’re getting on with the job by introducing these reforms to cut red tape and bring in a more common-sense approach to liquor licensing,” Premier Mark McGowan said.
“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.”
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.
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.
Licenced restaurant with a capacity of 120 people or less will also be able to serve alcohol without a meal. Currently, restaurants must apply to allow to serve alcohol without food.
The decision came after the success of reforms in 2006 that began Perth’s small bars and sophisticated drinking culture.
“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,” Mr McGowan said.
Tourism and Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia said it made it easier for businesses to do business.
“These reforms will mean venues that deliver cultural and tourism value will have a better chance of obtaining a suitable liquor licence,” Mr Papalia said.
He said the reforms would provide flexibility in the hospitality industry.
“We recognise there is an integral link between tourism in our State and providing greater convenience, choice and flexibility for visitors and locals alike.”
“By cutting red tape we are supporting exciting local businesses, creating more jobs and moving towards a tourism-friendly hospitality industry.”
However, Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said while it was a good plan, further changes were needed.
“I’m very pleased to hear what the minister Paul Papalia said,” Dr Nahan said.
“However they have to have some consistencies. Here we have banning full strength alcohol in our beautiful stadium, the Perth stadium and allowing full strength alcohol at 6:00, 7:30 in the morning on Sunday is odd.”