The Hospitality Messenger understands that the new laws relating to restricting applications involving packaged liquor are still being considered by the Government and may possibly be some while away.
Further updates will be provided once known.
The licensing authority has re-issued several special facility “caterer” licences with varied conditions.
Consistency in conditions has been sought.
The new conditions are in keeping with licensing authority policies and are directed at ensuring that such licences operate for the approved purpose, in accordance with the regulations, which is to have a strong food focus.
Some special facility caterer licences have been used with little or no food component in recent years. The holders of those licences may experience some challenges trading under the new regime.
Sand Volley Australia Pty Ltd operates a beach volleyball and netball centre in Nedlands and had applied for a special facility “sports arena” licence.
The application was prepared by a consultant and the applicant was originally represented by that consultant, however, the applicant was later represented by Lavan before the Supreme Court.
At first instance the Director found, based on the case presented to him, that the premises did not constitute a sports arena and the grant was not in the public interest. The applicant took that decision on review to the Liquor Commission where the review was dismissed and the Commission confirmed the Director’s decision, saying that “the facility in which the Premises are to be located do no (sic) constitute a ‘sports arena’ and to grant a special facility licence of that type would not be appropriate. The PIA has not demonstrated to a satisfactory degree that the granting of this application is in the public interest.”
Sand Volley appealed that decision to the Supreme Court where it was successful on all grounds of appeal.
The Supreme Court found that the Liquor Commission misconstrued the meaning of “sports arena” and therefore, erred in law. The Court stated that “had the Commission properly construed reg 9A(11), the outcome of the Commission’s determination on whether the premises were a ‘sports arena’ may not have been different. On the other hand, it may have.”
Accordingly, the Supreme Court quashed the decision of the Liquor Commission and remitted the matter back to the Commission for determination in accordance with the law as set out by the Court. A fully copy of the decision can be accessed here.
The licensing authority in WA has traditionally been very strict in relation to its requirements for toilets.
The Hospitality Messenger is aware of another restaurant licence application refused recently because of inadequate toilets.
However, unisex toilets have been approved in a few cases of late and the licensing authority’s published policy relating to toilets is due to be amended soon. We will report further when the amended policy is released.
If so, you are reminded to maintain current contact information at the licensing authority.
The licensing authority may need to contact an owner for any number of important reasons but the licensing authority will only rely on the contact information it has on its file for the particular premises. The licensing authority generally does not go looking for landowners.
The liquor legislation requires that when someone becomes an owner of licensed premises, they must notify the licensing authority of their contact details within seven days. If those details change, the licensing authority must be informed within seven days. Failure to comply with either of these requirements is an offence and can potentially attract a penalty of up to $2,000. In addition, landowners can potentially suffer other adverse consequences if something happens to the licence.
The Hospitality Messenger is aware of a few cases recently where bar managers have been fined heavily for the sale or supply of liquor to juveniles. These cases serve as a reminder to bar managers, not only as to refusing service to people under the age of 18, but also as to the culpability of bar managers. Managers can be held responsible under the law in their own right, separate from and in addition to licensees. Managers cannot hide behind licensees in this regard.