Tourism booze boost

TOURISTS, after-work drinkers and restaurants look set to benefit from new liquor reforms proposed by the McGowan government.

Under the existing legislation, when someone applies for a liquor licence, the Chief Health Officer and the Commissioner of Police’s representative have input.

Previously they have often recommended harm-reduction measures be attached to licences (like a “no double shots” rule, or “no dumb drinks promotions” that could promote harmful drinking), and on some occasions they’ve recommended against licences being approved.

Under the proposed new rules, the views of the CEO of WA Tourism will also be given “equal consideration”.

• A pre-election Mark McGowan (right), promising to loosen up liquor licensing when he visited Whipper Snapper distillery in East Perth. Photo by David Bell

Mr McGowan says the changes will reflect a “sensible balance of harm minimisation and transforming the drinking culture in Perth”, by catering for after-work drinkers and tourists.

Under the new rules, licensed restaurants with a capacity of 120 or under would be permitted to serve alcohol without a meal.

During the Alan Carpenter government in 2007, premier Mark McGowan was the minister who introduced major reforms to liquor licensing, including the creation of the “small bar” category. There are now 59 small bars in Perth.

He says these new changes, which have opposition support, continue that “legacy of smart, sensible reforms to liquor laws that support businesses and create local jobs”.


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