There are 9 categories of permanent liquor licence in WA. Each liquor licence allows for different trading hours and for how the liquor can be served. They are:
- Casino Liquor Licence
- Club & Club Restricted
- Hotel, Hotel Restricted, Tavern, Tavern Restricted and Small Bar
- Liquor Store
- Special Facility
In addition to these nine categories there is one liquor licence that can be issued for a specific short-term period this is an “Occasional liquor licence”.
Applying for a liquor licence in WA
The first step in applying for a liquor licence in WA is to determine the type of licence you require. Once you have decided on the type of licence you should lodge your application with the Western Australian Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor. Most liquor licence applications are required by the Liquor Control Act to be advertised to notify the community of the intent to obtain a licence.
At the time of lodgement, the Department of Racing, Gaming and liquor will determine if you need to advertise and what advertising criteria is required.
Public Interest Test and Assessment
All licences in Western Australia are granted on the basis that they are consistent with the objectives of the Liquor Control Act and in the best interest of the public. The types of things the Public Interest Test (“PIT”) considers are:
- If issuing the licence will affect the health or harm any people or group from the use of liquor;
- Whether issuing the licence is likely to cause annoyance or disturbance to people who reside or work in the vicinity of the proposed licenced premises;
- Whether the proposed licenced premises would negatively impact the look and feel of the locality; and
- Anything else that might be covered in the Liquor Control Regulations 1988.
The applicant will need to address the types of things that could be identified in a PIT by submitting a Public Interest Assessment (“PIA”) with their application. The PIA will outline how the applicant believes the proposed premises will impact the community and detail ways in which they will address the impacts.
The liquor licensing authority will contact the applicant if they require further information to help consider a PIA.
Getting a decision about your liquor licence application
You will no doubt be thrilled if you receive the liquor licence you applied for. However, if you’re not satisfied with the decision from the Director of Liquor Licensing, you have 28 days to submit a review application to the Liquor Commission. The Commission can also grant an extended period for applications to be submitted.
A lawyer with liquor licensing experience in WA will help you get your application right and also appeal to help you obtain a liquor licence.