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Executive summary

It is my pleasure to present the Annual Report of the Liquor Commission of Western Australia for the year ended 30 June 2021.

During the year in review, 26 new applications were lodged with the Liquor Commission and five applications were carried over from 2019-20. As at 30 June 2021, the commission had determined 25 applications, six applications were discontinued, one application was adjourned sine die and 11 applications were carried over to 2021-22.

This reflects a similar workload for the commission to the last occurring period, indicating that COVID 19 is still impacting the industry.

It was a very interesting year for the Liquor Commission with the introduction of section 36B of the Liquor Control Act 1988 which has created a new regime in respect to the issue of proliferation of packaged liquor outlets and has required contemplation of new matters under the Act.

The upcoming Supreme Court appeal of Liquorland (Australia) Pty Ltd v Director of Liquor Licensing GDA 7 of 2021 relating to the interpretation of section 36B(4) has also resulted in a number of applications to the commission being adjourned or delayed where this section would also be under consideration.

The commission has further seen a significant increase in appeals of section 115AD barring Orders during this reporting period.

The Liquor Commission has also undergone substantial changes to our commissioners and, in particular, the retirement of Mr Seamus Rafferty as Chairperson after more than a decade of service.

The Liquor Commission will certainly miss Seamus’ expertise and contribution to the commission. His enthusiasm and dedication to his role were much admired by his fellow commissioners.

In addition, Mr Alex Zilkens, who has been a valued member of the commission since 2014, retired from the commission in June 2021. Alex’s careful and insightful consideration of matters will be greatly missed.

The tradition of Commission Members becoming judicial officers also continued with Ms Sarah Oliver being sworn in as a magistrate of the Magistrates Court. I am sure she will do an excellent job as magistrate and wish her well in this new endeavour.

I am sure each of these valued Commission Members will continue to achieve excellence into the future.

Due to Seamus’ retirement Ms Kate Pedersen was appointed as the new Chairperson of the Liquor Commission in January 2021 and I look forward working with her on her return from leave in late 2021.

I also would like to take this opportunity to thank all commission members for their contribution to the effective operation of the commission throughout the year, as well as staff from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries for their ongoing support.

Emma Power

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Page reviewed 11 September 2023