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Extra time has been granted for licensees in 9 Pilbara and Kimberley towns to have a say on whether packaged liquor sales should be restricted in those communities of Western Australia.

WA’s Director of Liquor Licensing Lanie Chopping has extended the deadline for industry submissions until 1 September 2022. This is in response to requests from stakeholders, and to allow more time for careful consideration of complex issues around alcohol-related harm and packaged liquor sales.

The consultation process had previously been extended from 30 November 2021 to 1 July 2022 taking into consideration disruptions due to the pandemic and emergency management powers.

A decision about availability of packaged liquor in the Kimberley and Pilbara is due to made in early 2023 once all submissions have been thoroughly reviewed and the findings have been analysed. Community and industry will be kept informed and the process will be as open and transparent as possible. 

Background

In July 2020 the then Director of Liquor Licensing commenced 2 separate Inquiries — under section 64 of the Liquor Control Act 1988 — into whether restrictions should be imposed on availability of packaged liquor in:

  • Wickham
  • Point Samson
  • Karratha
  • Dampier
  • Newman
  • Derby
  • Broome
  • Kununurra
  • Wyndham
  • surrounding communities.

This followed reports received from the then Police Commissioner highlighting negative impacts of alcohol in the Pilbara and Kimberley, such as crime and anti-social behaviour.

To help inform the Inquiries, community stakeholder and industry such as alcohol retailers were invited to make submissions providing views and any evidence they wished to share.

Consultation update

More than 30 submissions have been received from health care and social services providers, local government authorities and academics about reducing the risk of alcohol related harm.

A lot of these submissions are hard copy documents and some are very lengthy. They also contain personal information that would need to be redacted before being shared. For these reasons we intend to publish a summary of the submissions — for example themes — once all relevant parties have had an opportunity to comment.

What next?

After industry responses are submitted, up to 1 September 2022, the Director of Liquor Licensing will complete an extensive review of all submissions before the findings and a final decision are made available.

Any proposed changes under section 64 of the Liquor Control Act will be communicated to key stakeholders and the broader community prior to implementation.

Further information on the timeframes for the Inquiries will be available on this page of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries website.

If you need more information about the Inquiries, you can email info@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

Media enquiries should be emailed to mediaenquiry@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

Lanie Chopping, Director of Liquor Licensing for WA (and also the Director General, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries) said:

“My Inquiries into whether to restrict packaged liquor sales in the Kimberley and Pilbara are still very much underway and as such I’ve extended the deadline for submissions by alcohol retailers.

“A number of things have changed since these Inquiries began, including the trial of new measures, like the Banned Drinkers Register, and sly-grogging prevention strategy and state of emergency liquor restrictions.

“Our consultation process is under review and development, and we are looking at ways to be more transparent about feedback received and how decisions are made. Updates are being made to our website to convey information currently available.” 

“I would like to thank all stakeholders for working with us throughout this process.”

Please note Inquiries by the Director of Liquor Licensing are independent of the Minister for Racing, Gaming and Liquor.

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Page reviewed 06 May 2022