After much anticipation and speculation, amended liquor licensing laws have been passed and some of them will come into effect in Western Australia on 18 and 19 August 2018.

The new regime will affect both applicants for new licences and existing licence holders, as well as consumers and is supposed to reduce some aspects of regulation, although there will also be some new laws.

Click here to view the State Government’s media statement regarding the amendments due to come into effect this coming weekend.

At this stage, however, it appears that the provisions amending and restricting the legislation in relation to packaged liquor outlets will not come into effect just yet.

Tied in with the legislative amendments is new regulation relating to pop-up bars.

Perth has seen an increasing number of pop-ups in recent years in the form of food markets, music festivals and other events.  Fringe World, Embargo, Hot Dub Wine Machine and The Ice Cream Factory are just a few examples.

Although a welcome feature of Perth’s modernising hospitality scene to many, there has been criticism of the pop-up culture for drawing business away from established venues and sometimes operating in risky circumstances.  Pop-up operators are often subject to a lower level of regulation (for example, security and toilet requirements) and their operations are sometimes very large, attracting enormous crowds.

With input from industry operators, as well as other stakeholders, the licensing authority has published a new “Temporary Bars” policy (click here to view it).

  • The policy states that a “temporary bar should be ancillary” to the event, whether it be an exhibition, festival, performance or sports competition.
  • An applicant may need to demonstrate that its event is “bona fide”.  The licensing authority will take into consideration a number of factors in assessing this.
  • A public interest assessment may be required with some licence applications for pop-up bars.
  • Some applications may also need to be advertised, potentially inviting objections.

The policy is intended to tighten regulation associated with temporary/pop-up bars.

However, the new liquor laws referred to above contain provisions designed to make it easier for established bricks and mortar venues to conduct their own pop-up next to their premises.

If you have any questions about the new liquor laws, or the pop-up policy, we invite you to contact us.

Tags: new liquor laws, pop-up bars, temporary bars, new liquor regulations, liquor licensing WA, liquor licensing lawyers, occasional licence, events liquor licence