The Hospitality Messenger

Collaborations between liquor producers and retailers are on the rise

There is an increasing number of small batch products being created with input from liquor store owners, hoteliers and publicans for exclusive supply into their stores and venues.

Such products can potentially prove valuable for both parties. 

Usually bespoke, speciality branding and labels are used to promote both producer and the on-seller, with consumers enjoying the diversity and uniqueness.

Such collaborations should be properly documented.  All facets of the arrangement should be covered from conception to revenue and everything in between.


Be patient.  Expect some delays. The Hospitality Messenger understands that the licensing authority has been under pressure with a backlog of work.  It is best to allow longer than usual at the moment for the processing of anything before the authority.

Did you know?...  

Most licences in this State are endorsed with a condition restricting immodest or indecent activities and the type of entertainment that is permitted, including, amongst other things, a prohibition on showing R-rated films.  Many popular modern films are rated R so licensees should be wary of the content of what is played on screens within their venues.

Are you fit and proper?

Much has been reported in the media recently of a Northbridge nightclub licensee’s response to a patron who claimed her drink was spiked at his premises.  One of the issues in the story is the question of whether the licensee is “fit and proper” to be involved with a liquor licence.  Various factors can be taken into consideration when assessing if someone is fit and proper within the meaning of the liquor legislation, including creditworthiness, character, reputation, number and nature of any convictions, conduct in respect to any liquor business, police reports and other matters.  Once a person or company has been found to be “fit and proper”, they have an ongoing obligation to remain as such and the licensing authority can review that status at any time.

Head counts can prove costly

The Hospitality Messenger visited a few breweries last weekend and was pleased to see them bursting with patrons, until a look at the licence capacity conditions indicated a few heads too many.

Licensees are reminded that every person over the limit could potentially attract a fine for the licensee.  The usual amount is around $500-$1,000 per person over the limit.

There have been cases of licensees being fined tens of thousands of dollars for exceeding capacity.

Remember also that, depending on the wording of a particular capacity condition, anyone, including staff and security, can potentially be included in the count, not just adult consumers of liquor.

Its that time again…

annual licence fee invoices should soon start to be issued by DLGSCI.  But don’t sit back, wait and think you can get away without paying if you don’t receive an invoice.  Licensees are obliged to pay, in order to keep a licence active, even if an invoice is not received.  Annual licence fees must be paid by 1 January.

Liquor Commission in review – 2018/19

The WA Liquor Commission has published its annual report stating the following, amongst other things:

"The Commission is finding it more difficult to operate functionally and in a timely manner. With a staff of one, Commissioners are poorly resourced and poorly remunerated for the large amount of work the role requires. Each Commissioner has their own full-time employment and have to deal with Commission matters in their spare time. This is a highly undesirable position and one that requires rectification by way of the allocation of further resources.

The interpretation of the Act and the consideration of certain applications is becoming increasingly difficult. For a Commission that was set up to make proceedings less formal, we are now in a position in which the complexity of the determination of applications is harder than ever. This is the primary factor that has led to the necessity for further resources.”

Further on in the report:

"Similar to previous years, the proportion of applications seeking review of barring notices issued by the Commissioner of Police pursuant to section 115AD of the Liquor Control Act 1988 was significant”

The full report is available here.

12% - OMG!

The Hospitality Messenger recently tried a beer which had 12% ABV!  There were more than three standard drinks in the 375ml can.

It was a very tasty drink indeed but it provided a reminder for licensees to consider displaying cautionary signage about the higher alcohol content of many products currently on the market, so as to appropriately warn consumers and ensure good RSA is maintained.

It may not be long before the authorities start to act and possibly impose special obligations in relation to the sale and supply of high ABV products.



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.