For live music venues, the last twelve months could be best be characterised as tough, with strict new liquor licensing laws and revisions rolled out around the country to help curb rising concerns from State Governments concerning the increase of alcohol-related violence.

Over in Western Australia however, Perth seemed relatively unaffected by similar changes happening in other capital cities like, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Sydney – to name a few – but as The Shout reports, a Western Australian Government committee is currently reviewing the State’s Liquor Control Act, with input from owners of local venues having their voice heard on the changes to the regulations.

Owners of pubs, clubs, and live music venues alike have weighed in on the agenda of the upcoming review, prioritising issues such as trading hours and the expensive cost of liquor licensing as key items to be looked at in the Liquor Control Act, which

, WA’s Liquor Control Act came into operation on 1 February 1989 and effectively remained unchanged for ten years, with significant changes coming into effect in 1998 and 2007.

The Liquore Stores Association WA (LSA) are campaigning for licensing of all outlets that provide alcohol for sale, “such as home brew establishments that currently are not licensed nor have any obligation to responsible server practices,” says Executive Director Lindsay James.

Allowing trading on Sundays was another major issue for the LSA, noting that there are only 35 country stores in tourism precincts that are allowed special dispensation to trade on those days, with James emphasising that all stores should be allowed the right.

The Australian Hotels Association have also criticised the current Liquor Control Acts, which has had few major revisions to its policies since it came into operation on February 1st 1989, except for two significant changes in 1998 and 2007. After more than half-a-decade, interest from the public community means that it’s up for review consideration.“Extensive public consultation will be critical for the government to get the best possible outcomes for the public and the industry.” –

CEO Bradley Woods said the Association will be placing on the agenda a review the “1950s era regulations” restricting trading hours for hotels and small bars, with a midnight curfew from Monday to Saturday and at 10pm on Sundays.

“Extensive public consultation will be critical for the government to get the best possible outcomes for the public and the industry, especially with the prospect of 1700 restaurant licenses selling liquor without meals and becoming bars,” added Woods.

Daniel Morris, who owns Victoria Park restaurant and venue The Precinct, said that the approval process should accomodate better engagement between liquor licensing regulators and those applying for licences, based on his trouble experiences in getting a liquor license for his own venue.

Morris said licensing authorities need to understand “what is actually going on in the industry and the changes that are happening and the young people that are pushing for them.” Though The Precinct acquired its much needed liquor license, Morris said that bar and venue operators want to provide an ‘experience’, but “to do this they need laws to be working for them,” he said.

“If a young person wants to open up a bar and needs to pay $20,000 for a lawyer to get a liquor licence rather than spend that money on air conditioners, ovens and fridges,” says Morris. “Western Australia will only see people with lots of money and resources open venues rather than the cosmopolitan diversity of a Melbourne hospitality scene.”

The findings of the Liquor Control Act review will be delivered on approximately 3oth June this year, and is being headed by John Atkins, previous WA chairman of ANZ Bank and chair of Lotterywest, while Nicole Roocke, a director of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, has also been appointed to the review committee, along with prominent local and regional community leader, Ian Stanley.

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