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WA Labor liquor reform to continue to cut red tape and create local jobs

Posted on February 14, 2021
  • McGowan Labor Government to continue strong record on progressive liquor reform if re-elected
  • Mark McGowan introduced ground breaking 2006 small bar reforms as Minister, with further tourism and hospitality-boosting measures delivered in 2018 as Premier
  • Re-elected McGowan Government to immediately consult with industry and stakeholders towards further amendments to the Liquor Control Act

Mark McGowan and WA Labor will continue their strong record on progressive, common sense liquor reform if re-elected – building on the revolutionary 2006 small bar reforms and 2018 liquor law amendments which changed the face of Western Australian hospitality.

As Racing and Gaming Minister in 2006, Mark McGowan led the work to overhaul Western Australia’s archaic liquor laws.

This allowed for the introduction of small bars, enabled restaurants to serve alcohol without a meal, replaced the Liquor Licensing Court with the Liquor Commission, introduced the ‘public interest’ test for liquor licences and allowed metropolitan liquor stores to trade on Sundays.

This program of reform restarted in 2017 under the McGowan Government. The Liquor Control Act underwent further reform to include tourism, community and cultural benefits when assessing liquor licence applications – helping hospitality to deliver more economic benefits and create more jobs.

A re-elected McGowan Government will continue this program of reform by undertaking consultation with the hospitality industry and other stakeholders to inform further amendments to the Liquor Control Act.

A range of potential improvements will be considered, including a simpler licensing system. This could include a reduction in the number of liquor licence categories from the current 13 to reflect changing business models and community expectations, as well as a more rapid and cheaper approvals process.

A re-elected McGowan Government will work with industry and other stakeholders to determine what the next phase of Western Australia’s liquor reform measures will be to deliver more economic, tourism and jobs benefits for the State’s hospitality industry.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“It is hard to believe just how far WA’s hospitality sector has come since the reforms of 2006.

“Those measures transformed our entire drinking and dining culture to the point that Western Australia now boasts many of the country’s best bars and restaurants.

“Our additional measures under my Government have helped make life easier for hospitality venues and tourism operators, with a number of additional common sense reforms to grow the sector and create jobs.

“If re-elected we will embark on the next phase of reform, bringing industry and other stakeholders on board to determine what the next steps are for WA’s hospitality sector.”