The Liquor Control Act 1988 (the Act) and the Liquor Control Regulations 1989 have been amended with effect from 2 November 2019.
The new provisions apply to the retail section of new liquor store, hotel and tavern licence applications as well as applications to alter or redefine a licensed premises subject to those licence types.
The retail section of a premises is the area where liquor is displayed for sale. It does not include storage areas or in the case of a hotel drive through bottle shop, the driveway (unless liquor is displayed for sale) or other areas specifically used for onsite consumption such as a dining or bar area.
Section 36B of the Act means that the licensing authority is not able to hear or determine an application for a new licence if the retail section of the proposed premises exceeds 400 m2 and an existing packaged liquor outlet with a retail section that exceeds 400 m2 is located within 5 kilometres (metropolitan) or 12 kilometres (regional). The distances are calculated using the shortest route by road.
Section 77A of the Act means that the licensing authority is not able to hear or determine an application to alter or redefine a licensed premises if the alteration or redefinition would result in the retail section of the premises increasing to more than 400 m2 and an existing packaged liquor outlet with a retail section that exceeds 400 m2 is located within 5 kilometres (metropolitan) or 12 kilometres (regional).
In relation to applications currently before the licensing authority, the transitional provisions contained in Schedule 1C of the Act provide that an application that has not been determined by the licensing authority prior to the commencement of relevant section of the Amendment Act will be subject to the new provisions.
In addition, section 36B(4) of the Act sets out that the licensing authority must not grant an application for a packaged liquor outlet of any size unless it is satisfied that local packaged liquor requirements cannot reasonably be met by existing packaged liquor premises in the locality in which the licensed premises are or will be situated.
The amended Liquor Control Act 1988 and Liquor Control Regulations 1989 can be found on the State Law Publisher website.