Theme 2: Modernised legislation and structural reform

Reforms to improve the legislative framework, to make it easier for licensees and the licensing authority to do business. The structure and function of the licensing authority will also be reviewed to ensure it meets current business and community expectations.

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The key reform proposals being explored in Theme 2 include:

Modernising the regulatory framework

The sale, supply and consumption of liquor in Western Australia (WA) is governed by a legislative framework consisting of: 

This reform will consider the structure and function of the legislation and regulations. The aim is to modernise and simplify the legislative framework, as well as making it easier to adapt liquor laws to meet the changing needs of the industry, the community, and the regulator. This includes: 

  • modernising the structure and language used in the Act to make laws easier to find and understand
  • moving laws from the Act to regulations, to make the laws more easily adaptable
  • removing redundant laws
  • administrative law amendments to improve licensing
  • enabling use of digital forms of identification and electronic document lodgement, to meet modern needs and align with the State Government’s digital systems
  • improvements to regulations.

Structural reform of the licensing authority

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. An important aspect of the DLL’s role is they must have the flexibility and discretion to make decisions about an application or matter, while balancing the interests of consumers, industry development and harm minimisation.

The Liquor Commission replaced the Liquor Court in 2007. It was set up to provide a less formal and technical review of some decisions made by the DLL. The Liquor Commission determines or reviews liquor complex 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 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.

This reform will consider:

  • the interaction between the DLL and the Liquor Commission
  • how licensing and disciplinary matters are referred for review
  • the role and processes of the Liquor Commission and whether it is meeting its intended function
  • alternative models to structure the licensing authority.

    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.


    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. 

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    Page reviewed 18 November 2022