Under the Liquor Control Act 1988 (WA), there is no specific class of licence that expressly authorises the sale and supply of a range of packaged liquor over the internet to the general public in Western Australia, without having physical premises.
Equally, there is no express prohibition within the legislation preventing online liquor stores in Western Australia.
The current regime authorises the licensee of a hotel, tavern or liquor store licence to sell and supply liquor online. However, the licensee must maintain physical premises open to the general public which comply with the licensing authority’s standards for licensed premises. Generally speaking the licensing authority will not approve a liquor store licence application that proposes to store stocks of liquor in a garage, basement or storage facility and only sell that liquor online.
A special facility licence, with a prescribed purpose of “online wine sales” is available in very narrow circumstances. Such a licence is only available to approved applicants who only intend to offer online sales of wine produced by the holder of a producer’s licence. In other words, the licensee can only sell Western Australian wine.
Under the current liquor licensing regime in Western Australia, it is virtually impossible to set up a purely online liquor store, selling various types of liquor, in this State, without physical premises open to the general public.