Changes to the Liquor Control Act 1988 have been announced by the State Government, in hopes of reducing alcohol related harm in the community by suppressing the proliferation of big chain liquor barns.
From November 2nd, new regulations will not allow packaged liquor outlets (400 square metres or greater) to be established of an existing large liquor outlet, within 5kms in the metropolitan or 12kms in regional areas.
Small Business Minister, Paul Papalia said this another great day for WA following yesterday’s cuts to payroll tax.
“That means, little stores that are already established and have been servicing their clientele for many years don’t come under the threat of a huge store nearby selling alcohol at greatly reduced prices, in order to dominate the market and force other smaller players out of the business,” he explained.
These changes are the first of their kind in Australia, showing how good community feedback can lead to policy change, and will provide certainty to liquor industry investors in WA.
All existing venues will be unaffected, but will be unable to increase the size of their retail space if another outlet is within the prescribed distances.
The Director of Liquor Licensing will also have the ability to judge whether consumer needs are already reasonably met by existing outlets when assessing a new application for another outlet in a local area.
Liquor Store Association WA CEO Peter Peck, commends these amendments to the act.
“Alcohol consumption over the last 10 years has been falling, so what the State Government has done is actually listened to the people who put them in there and theres no point in building bigger barns when you’re getting smaller demands,” he said.