Licensees could potentially be liable for actions of their staff and people engaged to provide services at licensed premises (such as crowd controllers).

Just because an incident was not directly the licensee’s fault, or even if the licensee was not at the premises at the time, it does not mean that the licensee may not be liable.

Licensing authority inspectors and Police officers inspect licensed premises from time to time, often without notice.  Complaints and tip-offs can also be made to authorities.  If staff or service providers are acting contrary to the requirements of the Liquor Control Act 1988 (WA), they and the licensee could be issued a fine or other penalty.  Such penalties could potentially be very costly and burdensome to deal with and may lead to further complaints and disciplinary proceedings being brought against the licensee.

The Act states that it is not a defence for a licensee to show that it did not know, or could not have reasonably been aware of, or have prevented the act or omission which has given rise to the complaint or had taken reasonable steps to prevent that act or omission from taking place.

It is important to properly train and educate staff and service providers on their responsibilities and obligations under the Act.