Theme 1: Improved licensing framework — reduce red tape and maximise opportunities for industry

These reforms relate to key features of the licensing framework, such as licence categories, exemptions from the Act and the regulator’s policies.

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The aim is to reduce the red tape associated with having a licence, making it easier to do business. Key proposals being explored in Theme 1:

The application and approval process

There is a difference between making it easy to apply for a licence (the application process) and being granted a licence (the assessment and approval process).

We want to explore ways to make it easier for licensees to apply for a licence or permit, as well as streamline the assessment process to make it quicker to obtain approval, while maintaining appropriate scrutiny during the assessment process.

Your feedback is sought on how to improve the application process and reduce delays in the process.

Review the liquor licence categories model

There are 15 liquor licence categories under the Liquor Control Act 1988 (the Act). Each licence category has restrictions, such as trading hours and type of business. The licensing authority can further restrict an individual liquor licence with conditions.

The number of licence categories, restrictions, conditions and exemptions from the Act reportedly causes confusion for liquor licence applicants and established licensees. Some businesses require multiple licences/permits, and the current categories may not be adaptable enough to meet changing industry needs.

DLGSC will consult stakeholders on options for alternative liquor licence category models, to identify the most suitable model for Western Australia.

Review exemptions, restrictions and conditions on licences

Exemptions are used in situations where the Act should not apply, such as liquor being provided as a part of a religious service, or medicines which contain alcohol. Other exemptions in the Regulations exclude the Act from applying to liquor sales during certain transport activities (for example interstate trains, aircraft or cruise ships), farmers markets and other functions.

This review will explore reducing red tape by expanding the exemptions to cover more business types, if they meet certain conditions. For example:

  • restaurants selling liquor ancillary to a meal
  • clubs
  • wholesalers
  • producers.

Also under consideration are expanded exemptions to increase flexibility for occasional licences, events being held at venues which are not traditional 'bricks and mortar' premises.

This may depend on which liquor licence categories model is adopted, as licence restrictions and conditions are tied to licence categories.

Simplify the liquor policies

There are currently 53 liquor policies to guide licensees on the Act and the expectations of the Director of Liquor Licensing. These will be reviewed, making it easier for people to find and understand the information they need. A related part of this work under Theme 5 is the review of how information on liquor licensing is presented on the DLGSC and wa.gov.au websites.

More information

More detail on the reforms will be made available via newsletters, surveys and the public consultation paper, The Next Chapter of WA's Liquor Laws — have your say.

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The Next Chapter of WA's Liquor Laws — have your say cover

The Next Chapter of WA’s Liquor Laws

Discussion paper
Have your say

Have your say

DLGSC is interested in hearing from you. You can have your say on our proposed reform ideas and provide us with new reform ideas by:

Submissions close 4pm Tuesday 31 January 2023. 

DLGSC will consult throughout the process. If you would like to be added to our distribution list, please sign up for notifications.

Surveys

You can also provide your feedback and reform ideas by completing one of our surveys. Please follow the links to complete the survey that is best suited to you: 

Submissions close 4pm Tuesday 31 January 2023. 

Contact us

Email liquorreform@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

Page reviewed 18 November 2022