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New Liquor Laws for WA

18 November 2014

LIQUOR stores will open between 10am and 10pm on Sundays, under new laws set to be introduced in WA.

Nightclub trading hours will also be extended to 2am on Sundays and restaurants catering to up to 120 people will be able to serve alcohol without a meal, as part of changes to the state’s liquor laws announced today.

It follows a plan by the Barnett Government to introduce “secondary supply” legislation banning the provision of alcohol to children without their parent’s consent.

And comes in response to an independent review of the Liquor Control Act, finalised in December. The Government’s full response to the review was tabled in Parliament today.

Of the 141 recommendations made by the committee to overhaul WA’s alcohol rules, 21 were not supported by the Barnett Government.

These include:

  • Amend the wording of the Act to place greater emphasis on harm minimisation;
  • Give police powers to conduct controlled purchase or “sting” operations;
  • Establish a Liquor Industry Advisory Committee.

Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron told Parliament the changes that were supported would be introduced in two stages.

“The first will focus on harm minimisation priorities balanced with some simple changes to assist parts of the liquor industry to carry-on business in a less onerous environment,” he said.

He said in the second stages changes would focus on meeting the “needs of all Western Australians”.

Changes to be introduced in the first stage include:

  • Secondary supply laws banning supplying alcohol to children without their parents’ consent;
  • Allowing police to seize and get rid of an alcohol found in the possession of minors;
  • Laws banning fake IDs, with penalties of fines of up to $2,000;
  • Penalties for anyone caught bringing alcohol into restricted premises.

Changes to be introduced in the second stage include:

  • Laws preventing children from ordering alcohol online;
  • A new license category for small bars catering to less than 120 patrons. All restaurants with less than 120 patrons will also be able to serve alcohol without a meal;
  • Allowing clubs to hold up to 12 non-member functions per year without applying for an extended trading permit;
  • All liquor stores will be able to trade on Sundays between 10am and 10pm;
  • Extending nightclub trading hours to 2am on Sundays;
  • Increasing the maximum penalty for failing to leave a licensed venue to $5,000.

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