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New liquor laws benefit WA small business

West Australians have reason to celebrate as the State Government introduces new liquor laws this weekend.

Amendments made to the Liquor Control Act 1988 will support small businesses by encouraging a more tourism-friendly hospitality culture in WA. This will create more jobs and drive a wave of activity through the hospitality industry by reducing regulatory burden on licensees and giving greater choice to customers and visitors to the State.

Some of the changes to the legislation include:

  • Restaurants with the capacity of 120 patrons or less, will no longer need to apply for a separate permit to serve liquor without a meal, and can now ‘opt in’ when they first apply for their licence.
  • More flexibility for existing and established licensees to host pop-up bars at short-term events such as micro-festivals.
  • Lessening the burden and cost for licensees, ongoing hours for Extended Trading Permits will now be valid for up to 10 years – increased from five years.
  • Customers of small bars or taverns will be able to take-home partially-consumed wine, which currently only applies to restaurants.
  • Spirit producers will be able to trade in the same manner as wine and beer producers – authorising the sale of liquor for consumption on and off the licensed premises.
  • Discretion by the licensing authority to consider low-risk applications without having regard to the public interest assessment requirements.

Tourism, Racing and Gaming and Small Business Minister Paul Papalia CSC MLA said the passing of this legislation represented the most significant liquor reforms for the State in over a decade, and delivered on the Government's Plan for Jobs by supporting opportunities for business growth and driving visitation to WA.

"A tremendous amount of work and consultation has gone into the development of this important legislation, and the result is a framework which all Western Australians can be proud.

“It is time to modernise the hospitality and tourism industries, and these laws strike a good balance between the responsible consumption of liquor together with the tourism and employment benefits of a dynamic and prosperous hospitality industry,” Minister Papalia said.

More information

Search our free online business licence finder to get a customised report outlining the licences and permits you’ll need and where to get them.

Contact our free small business advisory service to speak to one of our experienced business advisers. We can provide you with free confidential help regardless of whether you’re a business starter or already established.

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