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Close up image of a bartender pouring a beer from a tap.

In late 2007 the first small bar liquor licence was granted, kicking off an evolution of WA's hospitality scene.

Among the first to receive a small bar licence was Helvetica — one of Perth's original laneway bars — which remains a staple for Perth bar-goers to this day. Just 15 years later, the number of small bars in WA has risen to 241, almost half of which opened in the past 5 years.

Further reforms to liquor laws were introduced in 2018, which cut red tape and meant the cultural and tourism value of venues could be considered in determining liquor licence applications.

Following a challenging period for the hospitality scene, the State Government has launched an industry consultation to investigate further improvements to WA's liquor laws.

A range of potential improvements will be considered, including eliminating unnecessary red tape, a simpler licensing system, and a faster, more cost-effective approvals process.

Examples of proposals include revisiting meal requirements under certain licence categories, reviewing restrictions on certain drinks under licence categories, and examining whether trading hour restrictions remain fit for purpose.

The reform program is being administered by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries with extensive consultation taking place over the next few months.

The preliminary consultation phase will help guide the development of detailed reform options for a formal consultation process during 2023.

Stakeholders are encouraged to have their say on the future of WA's liquor laws.

Have your say on the future of WA's liquor laws


Page reviewed 27 February 2023