The first stage of new liquor licensing laws came into effect on 18 August 2018.  Among the suite of changes, some licensed premises will enjoy more flexibility in the way they trade.

One example is that applicants for restaurant licences can now simply tick a box on the restaurant licence application notice if they want a Liquor Without a Meal (LWM) permit, provided the capacity of the restaurant is limited to 120 persons. A separate application for a LWM permit is no longer required for such restaurant licence applications.

For existing restaurant licensees (with a capacity of 120 persons or less), whether the restaurant licence has already been granted, if they do not currently have a LWM permit, we have been told by the licensing authority that it will soon write to those licensees with an invitation to apply for a LWM permit.  It is understood that the fee of $53.00 will be waived, provided the application is submitted by 18 August 2019.

Applicants for restaurant licences where the capacity of the premises is greater than 120 persons, will still need to make a separate application after the licence has been granted and the premises has started trading.  Similarly, existing licensed restaurants with a capacity of more than 120 persons will need to make a separate application if they wish to apply for a LWM permit.

Patrons are also now allowed to take away unfinished liquor from some licensed premises in addition to restaurants, provided the following criteria are met:

  • The liquor to be taken home is wine.
  • The wine was sold for consumption on the licensed premises.
  • The wine was sold for consumption on the licensed premises and ancillary to a “meal” (as defined in the Liquor Control Act 1988 (WA)) provided by the licensee.

If you have any questions about the new liquor laws, we invite you to contact us.  Further amendments are due to come into effect in the near future and we will provide further posts and updates in due course.