- New regulations restricting number of WA liquor barns take effect on November 2
- Changes the first of their kind in Australia and were drawn up in consultation with key industry stakeholders
- Changes follow community concerns about the proliferation of large liquor outlets
The State Government has introduced changes to the Liquor Control Act 1988 to reduce alcohol-related harm in the community by clamping down on the proliferation of liquor barns.
New regulations that take effect from tomorrow (November 2) will not allow large packaged liquor outlets - of 400 square metres or greater - to be established within five kilometres (metropolitan area) or 12 kilometres (regional areas) of an existing large packaged liquor outlet of 400 square metres or more. The distances are calculated using the shortest route by road.
Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia said the changes are the result of ongoing community concerns and extensive industry consultation, and will provide certainty to liquor industry investors in Western Australia.
The changes will still allow for 'greenfields' outlets to be established as a 'first mover', but no further large packaged liquor outlets will be allowed within the above distances.
The changes are not retrospective - all existing venues will be unaffected, but they will not be able to increase the size of their retail sales area to more than 400 square metres if another large packaged liquor outlet is within the prescribed distances.
Other amendments to the Act include allowing the Director of Liquor Licensing to assess whether consumers' needs are reasonably met by existing packaged liquor outlets when assessing a new application for an outlet in a local area.
The changes were drawn up in consultation with key stakeholders including the Liquor Stores Association of WA, Australian Hotels Association (WA), the McCusker Foundation, WALGA, as well as a range of private companies and peak bodies.
Comments attributed to Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia:
"These amendments to the Liquor Control Act 1988 were passed in July 2018 with overwhelming support.
"They are the first of their kind in Australia and are a good example of community feedback leading to policy change.
"They represent the most significant reforms in more than a decade - since the Labor Government's changes in 2007 which opened the small bars market in WA.
"Importantly, they strike an excellent balance between liberalising the liquor environment for responsible licensees and consumers, as well as managing community expectations for particular types of venues."
Minister's office - 6552 5600