Call to lift the bar on li­cences

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By SO­PHIE GABRIELLE

BEAU­FORT Street Mer­chant owner Scott Tay­lor has had to “jump through hoops” to ap­ply for liquor li­cences for his three busi­nesses.

The small busi­ness owner has backed the WA La­bor Party’s com­mit­ment to re­lax the Liquor Li­cens­ing pol­icy if elected in 2017.

Mr Tay­lor said he wanted more flex­i­ble liquor li­cens­ing laws that don’t re­quire op­er­a­tors to “jump through hoops”.

“It is the very def­i­ni­tion of a nanny state,” he said.

“We are not go­ing to de­scend into chaos and an­ar­chy if some­one has a glass of wine af­ter 12.30am at a bar.”

In re­sponse to the City of Subiaco’s new Liquor Li­cens­ing Pol­icy last year, Llama Bar owner Tim Mon­aghan said “re­lax­ing the bar­ri­ers to en­try” for new bars was the key to Subiaco re­gain­ing its sta­tus as a vi­brant sub­urb.

Mayor Heather Hen­der­son said the City’s pol­icy was a pri­or­ity to help en­cour­age en­trepreneurs to con­sider Subiaco for new busi­ness.

“It frees up the bu­reau­cracy that has sur­rounded this for quite some time,” she said.

Mr Tay­lor cur­rently has liquor li­cence ap­pli­ca­tions pending for Beau­fort Street Mer­chant, Enrique’s School for to Bull­fight­ing and a small speakeasy themed bar with the work­ing name, Jnr.

“I sub­mit­ted the ap­pli­ca­tion on De­cem­ber 23,” he said. “I would ex­pect ap­proval within three months but I’m sure there will be some con­di­tions.”

Op­po­si­tion Leader Mark McGowan said he wanted to “throw open the doors” to make it eas­ier for small bars and restau­rants to get liquor li­cences.

“If we want a more vi­brant cul­ture in our city and com­mu­ni­ties, we need to move away from this one- size- fits- all ap­proach to liquor li­cens­ing,” he said.

If elected in 2017, Mr McGowan said he would make changes to the Liquor Con­trol Act 1988 to give the same legal weight to tourism bod­ies as the Po­lice Com­mis­sioner and Public Health ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor.

Rac­ing and Gam­ing Min­is­ter Colin Holt said it was not pos­si­ble to leg­is­late to re­strict po­lice from mak­ing ob­jec­tions or in­ter­ven­ing in liquor li­cens­ing.

“The abil­ity for WA Po­lice to in­ter­vene or ob­ject is an im­por­tant and nec­es­sary part of the liquor li­cens­ing process as this is the means by which the Direc­tor of Liquor Li­cens­ing can gain ac­cess to the full range of in­for­ma­tion needed to con­duct a proper public in­ter­est as­sess­ment,” he said.

Aus­tralian Ho­tels As­so­ci­a­tion WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Bradley Woods said the WA Po­lice and Depart­ment of Public Health’s on­go­ing ob­jec­tions to li­cences were a bar­rier to ad­vanc­ing tourism in WA.

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