Western Australia, with its enormous geographic area, does not enjoy uniform liquor drinking privileges and equal licensee rights across the state. For some time, the Pilbara region particularly has been singled out for special treatment due to the harm or ill-health attributed to the use of liquor.
The recent outcome of the Director of Liquor Licensing’s Pilbara Inquiry has been widely reported in the media. The Inquiry was initiated following a report in January 2017 from the Commissioner of Police to the Director on the extent of alcohol-related harm in Port Hedland. During the course of the exercise the police sought Pilbara wide restrictions, stakeholders and industry members made submissions and the Director issued a show cause notice to all affected licensees in the region.
The consequent decision of the Director will result in new restrictions being imposed from 31 March 2019 on virtually all licences in the Pilbara region (with only a small number of exceptions). The outcome is wide ranging addressing the sale and supply of not only packaged liquor but also on premise consumption, trading hours and the requirement to comply with additional record keeping.
Certain types of liquor promotions and advertisements will also be prohibited.
A right of review exists for disgruntled parties.