Mark McGowan

Mark McGowan

Minister for Education and Training; South West

    Liquor reform legislation introduced to State Parliament

    20/09/2006 2:23 PM

    Legislation to reform Western Australia’s archaic liquor licensing laws was unveiled in State Parliament today by Racing and Gaming Minister Mark McGowan.

    Mr McGowan said the amendments to the Liquor Licensing Act would provide increased choice for consumers, greater tourism benefits, and a major boost to small business and entrepreneurs.

    The legislation would also include new measures to combat anti-social behaviour and alcohol related harm.

    Key changes included:
    • giving restaurants more flexibility to serve liquor without a meal;
    • creating a new 'small bar' licence category to encourage a more vibrant family-friendly caf�-style drinking culture;
    • setting up a new Liquor Commission to replace the Liquor Licensing Court, to provide a less legalistic and less costly licensing process;
    • replacing the anti-competitive 'needs' based test for new licences with a fairer 'public interest' test;
    • allowing metropolitan liquor stores to open on Sundays, in line with hotel bottle shops; and
    • new policing and harm minimisation measures to promote responsible drinking.
    “WA needs these reforms - our economy is booming, more people are visiting to do business, and the community wants better entertainment options,” the Minister said.

    “These changes are about introducing a more sensible, safe and diverse drinking culture to WA.

    “They will also bring benefits to small businesses and support the tourism industry in WA.”

    Mr McGowan said the State Government had consulted widely on its package of reforms and had received support from a wide range of business, tourism and health advisory groups.

    “I strongly urge the Liberal Party to support this legislation, which will benefit thousands of small businesses around WA,” he said.

    “Consumers in WA have been neglected for far too long and this package of reforms will put their interests first.”

    Minister's office - 9222 9111