The second batch of amendments to the Liquor Control Act 1988 (WA) came into effect on 3 October 2018.  Described below are three key examples of the changes that would be most applicable to you or your (prospective) business.

New public interest consideration

Decision makers should take into account the effect that granting an application might have in relation to tourism, community and cultural matters.

This means that an applicant should endeavour to produce appropriate evidence to show that an application will benefit the relevant community, or enhance the culture and tourism of the area.

Changes regarding clubs

Club constitutions or rules are no longer required to be approved by the Director of Liquor Licensing.

The Act also now allows licensed clubs to sell liquor to “visitors”, even if they are not members or guests of members, provided the club constitution permits visitors in this regard and in compliance with the following:

visitor means a person, other than a member, a guest of a member or a person referred to in subsection (5), who –  

(a) is at least 40km or, if a greater distance is prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph, at least that distance from their usual place of residence; and

(b) is visiting the club while travelling in the course of a holiday or travelling for leisure or business; and

(c) is required, at the time of their visit, to pay a fee to the club for the use of its facilities.

Extended validity for ongoing hours extended trading permits (ETPs)

The Act now provides for ETPs in respect of ongoing hours to be issued for a maximum period of 10 years.  Such ETPs used to only be effective for a maximum period of 5 years.

This new provision means that licensees can potentially avoid having to spend extra time and resources every couple of years  re-applying to the licensing authority for a renewal or extension of their ETPs.

The licensing authority still has discretion to grant ETPs for lesser periods.

Licensees operating with ongoing hours ETPs should note that this amendment does not apply retrospectively to existing ETPs.

Licensees should still keep track of the expiry dates of their ETPs and at the appropriate time, well in advance of a expiry date, apply for a renewal/extension to seek continuity of the ETP trading privileges.

If you would like to know more about the new liquor laws and how they might affect you or your business, feel free to contact our Liquor, Hospitality & Events team.