The Director of Liquor Licensing (DLL) launched an inquiry into the sale and supply of packaged liquor in the Pilbara region following a report in January 2017 from the Commissioner of Police on the extent of alcohol-related harm in Port Hedland.

Click here to read our earlier blog post in February this year on this topic.

The DLL invited all licensees in the Pilbara who are authorised to sell packaged liquor to comment. Despite the responses from licensees, the DLL decided in January 2019 to impose wide-ranging conditions on the sale of packaged liquor in the Pilbara effective from 31 March 2019.

The Australian Hotels Association applied to the Liquor Commission for a review of the DLL’s decision, arguing for a banned drinkers’ register instead of restrictions. The Association argued that this was more effective in targeting the root issue of problematic drinkers, rather than simply applying a blanket restriction on the entire region.

The Liquor Commission granted a stay of the proceedings, which deferred the conditions until the review hearing was held.

The Commissioner of Police appealed the Liquor Commission’s decision to stay the proceedings to the Supreme Court. The appeal was heard on 18 April 2019 before Justice Archer, who ordered that the decision be set aside and the matter be re-determined by the Liquor Commission, differently constituted.

It is understood that the Liquor Commission held the remission hearing into the matter on 27 June 2019 and varied the blanket imposition of the conditions . Written reasons are yet to be published.