The next tranche of amendments to Western Australia’s liquor licensing laws are expected to arrive soon and there is much speculation about how packaged, take-away liquor services will be affected because restrictions will be introduced.

The amendments will re-introduce the old ‘needs test’ that existed under the former liquor licensing regime more than a decade ago, in relation to licensing for packaged liquor.  In addition, applications involving packaged liquor sections of a certain size and located within a certain distance of another premises of a certain size, will not be permitted.  It is not clear at this stage what the size or distance will be.

Major packaged liquor retailers and other stakeholders have been involved in a consultation process with the Minister’s office regarding the new laws.  Although there has been no announcement of exactly when these laws might come into effect, there is speculation that it will be sometime in February or March 2019.

When implemented, these new laws will result in a significant change in the packaged liquor landscape in Western Australia.