- State Government changes make it easier for restaurants to serve alcohol without a meal
Red tape slashed to save time and expense
Changes support growth of a modern, diverse hospitality industry
The State Government has delivered on an election commitment to make it easier for West Australians to enjoy a drink at a restaurant - without buying a meal.
Premier Colin Barnett said the Government had fast-tracked changes to make it easier for restaurants that hold 120 people or fewer to serve alcohol without a meal.
“West Australians should be able to enjoy a quiet drink in a restaurant, without ordering a meal if they don’t want one,” Mr Barnett said.
“This is about giving people more choice to have a drink at a restaurant in a responsible fashion, instead of only being limited to pubs and bars.
“Perth is growing in numbers and sophistication and restaurants across the city are an important part of our lifestyle. These changes will bring Western Australia into line with other States by offering more flexibility to cater for an expanding and more diverse clientele.”
The Premier said the changes would take effect on June 4 and reduce the red tape, time and expense for restaurants applying for a Liquor Without a Meal (LWM) permit.
“The key change is the removal of the cumbersome public interest assessment for these smaller, low risk venues - that will slash the time and expense in the approval process, which could take months under the old system,” he said.
“We’re pleased to be helping these small businesses in this way. Restaurants should now be able to receive their permits within 10 working days, instead of months. In addition, we have reduced the application fee from $431 to $50.”
Mr Barnett said the Government remained committed to introducing legislation so that restaurants holding 120 people or fewer would automatically have the ability to serve alcohol without a meal as part of the licence.
However, this was a way to get the same outcome quicker.
“By changing the regulations we can make these changes quickly, rather than see restaurants held up while legislation is prepared,” the Premier said.
“These changes will be enshrined in legislation once we have the full report from the Liquor Control Act Review committee, along with any other reforms.”
Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron said under the permit, liquor without a meal could be served until midnight, Monday to Saturday, and 10pm on Sundays.
“There are 819 licensed restaurants in WA - at the moment only 136 have approval to serve alcohol without a meal. We estimate there are between 400 and 500 that could qualify for a permit under these changes,” he said.
Mr Waldron said applicants must still ensure their business was conducted in accordance with the relevant local government town planning scheme.
The supply of liquor without a meal only applies to patrons seated at tables, and the maximum number of 120 people includes staff and patrons both inside the venue and those seated in outside areas such as footpaths and alfresco areas
Restaurants with a seating capacity greater than 120 people can also apply for the new LWM permit, but in such cases the licence would have conditions to reflect a maximum of 120 people on the premises at any one time
Premier’s office - 6552 5000
Racing and Gaming Minister’s office - 6552 6100