Government backhands proposed liquor reforms

The State Government has recently tabled its response to the Education and Health Standing Committee’s report Alcohol: Reducing the Harm and Curbing the Culture of Excess (Report). The Report was tabled in Parliament on 23 June 2011 and recommended sweeping reforms to the liquor industry such as barring people from purchasing takeaway liquor until they are 20 years old.

However, the Government has largely rejected the recommendations of the Report and only moved to support two recommendations and give in principle support to one other recommendation. The Minister for Racing and Gaming, Mr Terry Waldron MLA, told Parliament that ‘the rights of consumers to enjoy choice and diversity in the range of hospitality services available and the tourism, employment and business opportunities this brings to our State needs to be balanced against the need to ensure that the health and safety expectations of the community [are] maintained.

The Minister also said that ‘Increasing the drinking age, using juveniles in enforcement operations, banning alcohol sponsorship of sporting organisations and introducing price controls are blunt instruments that the Government does not support.

The Government’s response to the Report will be comforting for those within the industry, and possibly the wider community, who feared the Report may lead to a radical restructuring of the liquor industry and reduction in individual rights and liberties.

For further information on the recommendations of the Report please see Lavan Legal’s previous Snapshot entitled Is WA liquor legislation regressing to the 1700’s.

Should you wish to know more about Western Australia’s liquor legislation or require any assistance in preparing an application for a liquor licence please do not hesitate to contact:

Dan Mossenson
(08) 9288 6769

Ian Curlewis
(08) 9288 6756

Jessica Patterson
Senior Associate
(08) 9288 6946

Disclaimer – the information contained in this publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek legal advice in relation to any particular matter you may have before relying or acting on this information. The Lavan team are here to assist.