Liquor licensing

Licence types, trading hours, approved managers, restrictions and information for licensees

Licence types and trading hours

There are different types of liquor licences available in Western Australia, each with its own conditions.

Objections against liquor licence applications

Most applications have to be advertised in order to inform the community. Objections to applications must be made to the department.

Public interest test

Ensuring all licences are granted on the basis that they are in the best interests of the public and are consistent with the Liquor Control Act.

Public interest assessment

A public interest assessment outlines how a proposed premises will impact on a community and outline of how the applicant will manage any impact.

Extended trading permits

Where licensees wish to extend their predetermined trading hours/area or manner of trade as afforded in the Act.

Chase the Ace trade promotions

The pub game Chase the Ace is what is known as a trade promotion lottery, and is generally held in hotels and taverns.

Juveniles

A juvenile is someone who is under the age of 18 years and is not permitted by law to purchase liquor either on premises or off premises.

Promotion of liquor

Information for licensees about the promotion of liquor.

Forms and checklists

Forms and checklists for liquor licensees.

Review of a licensing decision

Generally, if an applicant is dissatisfied with the decision handed down by the Director of Liquor Licensing, they have the right to apply for a review to be carried out by the Liquor Commission.

The review application needs to be submitted to the commission within 28 days of receiving the director's decision. The commission may grant an extended period for applications to be submitted.

Decisions relating to the conduct of business under an extended trading permit or occasional licence can't be reviewed by the commission. This includes the cancellation, variation or suspension of either type of licence.

The review process

When conducting a review, the Liquor Commission can only consider the same application and evidence that was originally submitted to the Director of Liquor Licensing.

The commission must consist of three members if:

  • the decision involves granting or removing a licence
  • the decision involves imposing, varying or revoking a prohibition order, or
  • the chairperson determines three members are required.

An application for a review of a decision to cancel a licence can only be made on a question of law, that is, on the perceived basis that the director has misinterpreted the Liquor Control Act in making the original decision.

When conducting a review based on a question of law, the commission must include one member who is a legal practitioner.

The commission may:

  • affirm, vary or overturn the director's decision
  • make a decision that it feels should have been made in the first instance
  • clarify any questions of law
  • give instructions to the director
  • make any incidental or ancillary orders it finds necessary in relation to the decision.

Responsible service

Harm minimisation

The Liquor Control Act 1988 plays a significant role in contributing to the minimisation of the harm caused to people through the consumption of alcohol.

One of the key objectives of the Act is 'To minimise harm or ill-health caused to people, or any group of people, due to the use of liquor'.

To support the overarching objectives set out in the Act, the Director of Liquor Licensing has constructed policy to assist licensees apply harm-minimisation principles in their venues.

When an application is made for a liquor licence, the applicant must indicate:

  • how liquor will be sold and consumed in a responsible manner; and
  • that harm or ill-health caused to people or any group of people, due to the use of liquor will be minimised.

Applicants will be required to show that they have developed the following three documents for their venue:

  • House Management Policy
  • Code of Conduct
  • Management Plan

House Management Policy

A House Management Policy is a generic statement of intent on the way the licensee wishes to operate the premises.

Code of Conduct

Outlines the licensees' commitment to:

  • controlling intoxicated persons;
  • controlling juveniles;
  • resolving complaints from customers and residents;
  • patron care (harm minimisation strategies which encourage the availability of food, non-alcoholic products, staff training, effective transport of patrons, and discourage disorderly behaviour);
  • respect the neighbours (the statement should encourage patrons to respect the rights of neighbours and not to disturb the amenity of the local area); and
  • responsible server practices (to adopt the Director's Guideline on responsible promotion of liquor).

Management Plan

The Management Plan details how the House Management Policy and the Code of Conduct will be implemented, and should confirm that the licensee and approved manager have successfully completed their training requirements.

Details should also be provided outlining:

  • Mandatory industry training compliance
  • How responsible server practices will be adopted
  • The display of responsible service posters on the licensed premises
  • The way in which licensed crowd controllers (if applicable) undertake their duties
  • The practices adopted to control juveniles on the licensed premises
  • The way in which intoxicated patrons are refused service\The procedures in place to respond to complaints and protect the amenity of the area.

The House Management Policy and the Code of Conduct and the Management Plan need to be available for inspection on the licensed premises.

Definition of drunkenness

Under the Liquor Control Act, a person is 'drunk' if:

  • They are on a licensed or regulated premises; and,
  • Their speech, balance, co-ordination or behaviour appears to be noticeably impaired; and
  • It is reasonable in the circumstances to believe that their impairment results from the consumption of liquor.

Under the Act, it is an offence for any person on a licensed or regulated venue to:

  • Sell or supply, or permit the sale or supply of liquor to a drunk person;
  • Allow or permit a drunk person to consume liquor;
  • Obtain or attempt to obtain liquor for a person who is drunk to consume; or
  • Aid a person who is drunk to obtain or consume liquor.

Penalties

Licensed venue
  • Licensee $10000
  • Approved Manager $10000
  • Employee $4000
  • Any other person $2000
Regulated venue
  • Owner $10,000
  • Any other person $2000

The definition removes the defence that allows offenders to create a reasonable doubt, by suggesting that the impairment of their speech, balance, co-ordination or behaviour may have been caused by other factors such as drugs, fatigue, or mental abnormality.

Free drinking water

Where liquor is sold and supplied for consumption on the premises, all licensees are required to provide potable drinking water for patrons to consume on the premises free of charge during trading hours.

In order to comply with the minimum requirement, venues are able to choose to provide water:

  • from a water jug at bar service areas;
  • by way of water coolers/fountains located at bar areas and throughout the venue;
  • by some other form of water dispenser.

Water must be clean and refreshed regularly. Warm or hot water will not be considered compliant with this condition nor will the use of hand basins taps in toilet facilities be considered as compliant with this condition.

Failure to provide free drinking water at a Licensed venue:

  • Licensee $10,000
  • Approved Manager $4000
Page reviewed 19 August 2019