The State Government, through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) is reviewing and modernising the liquor laws, policies, online systems and information in Western Australia (WA).
Liquor in Western Australia is regulated under the following:
The Act and Regulations control the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol, and aim to minimise harm or ill-health caused to people due to the use of alcohol. The legislation is supported by liquor policies, which provide additional guidance.
Liquor licensing decisions and disciplinary matters are determined by the licensing authority — the Director of Liquor Licensing (DLL) and the Liquor Commission.
The DLL is a statutory position held by the chief executive officer of DLGSC that assists with administration of the Act. The DLL, who has powers of delegation, makes most decisions about liquor licensing applications and other matters.
The Liquor Commission determines, or reviews complex liquor licensing matters, including complaints, awarding of costs, and provides policy advice relating to liquor control. The Liquor Commission Rules regulate the practice and procedure of the Liquor
Commission and matters that are related and subject to the Regulations.
DLGSC inspectors (under delegation from the DLL) and officers from the Western Australian Police Force manage the compliance and enforcement of liquor laws across Western Australia.
Major liquor reforms in 2006 and 2018 saw the introduction of small bars in WA and an increased focus on tourism-friendly culture. In February 2021, the former Premier committed to:
continue this program of reform by undertaking consultation with the hospitality industry and other stakeholders to inform further amendments to the Liquor Control Act. A range of potential improvements will be considered, including a simpler
licensing system to reflect changing business models and community expectations, and a quicker, cheaper approvals process.
This review is broad and looks to modernise the Act, regulations, and policies, as well as the supporting online systems and information. Through this review, the State Government is seeking to:
Reform proposals were generated from DLGSC’s observations as the regulator of liquor laws, as well as feedback from key interest groups.
Reform proposals were grouped into the following themes:
Proposals that simplify the licensing framework, creating efficiencies for industry and the regulator:
Reforms to the regulatory framework and to modernise the structure of the Act and regulations:
Reforms to enhance enforcement tools, powers and penalties, encouraging compliance amongst operators:
Reforms to streamline processes:
Reforms to industry education, guidance and communication:
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