Call to lift the bar on licences
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.