The department is responsible for administering the Liquor Control Act 1988 and promoting the integrity and lawful liquor activities in Western Australia.

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Liquor news

Liquor applications

The department is responsible for determining applications and other matters relating to liquor licensing under the auspices of the Director of Liquor Licensing who performs statutory functions and exercises statutory powers as prescribed by the Act.

Liquor licensing

The department is responsible for monitoring compliance and maintaining the integrity of licensed operations by conducting audits, inspections and investigations of liquor operators.

Liquor policies

Policies to ensure responsible regulation of the hospitality industry.


Training ensures the service of alcohol is safe and responsible venues commit to harm-minimisation.

The role of the department

The department, through the licensing of suppliers and the provision of industry support services, promotes and maintains the integrity of lawful liquor activities for Western Australians to participate in, within community expectations on harm minimisation.

The department achieves its mission through the provision of services to maintain public confidence in liquor industries. This confidence has been achieved by maintaining confidentiality and applying the principles of fairness and natural justice.

We perform many functions, including:

  • hearing and determining applications in accordance with the Act
  • monitoring the standards of licensed premises
  • ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Act
  • facilitating various liquor accords and community alcohol agreements
  • developing and implementing policy consistent with Government objectives
  • providing policy advice
  • negotiating and liaising with industry groups
  • considering complaints about noise or behaviour related to licensed premises and responding to such complaints
  • dealing expeditiously with any other matters arising from the administration of the Act.

The role of the Director of Liquor Licensing

The Director of Liquor Licensing (DLL) is independent of the Minister for Racing, Gaming and Liquor, Police Commissioner or any other party.

An important aspect of the DLL’s role is they must have the flexibility and discretion to make decisions about an application or matter, while balancing the interests of consumers, industry development and harm minimisation.

The role of the DLL is to:

  • Determine applications and matters, including suspending licences or permits in the public interest or because the business has ceased.
  • Make a complaint that could result in the Liquor Commission taking disciplinary action against the licensee.
  • Receive noise or behaviour complaints relating to a licensed premises.
  • Make prohibition orders, vary or revoke prohibition orders.
  • Declare a liquor restricted premises (residential premises, non-residential private premises and Crown land).
  • Commence a prosecution for an offence against the Act.
  • Conduct or arrange hearings, meetings, consultations and negotiations.
  • Defer consideration or further consideration of an application.
  • Determine any application or matter without hearing.
  • Decide to conduct a hearing: default is private.
  • May make findings on the balance of probabilities.
  • Refer whole or part of a matter to the Liquor Commission or any question of law.

The role of local government

A local government's town planning scheme serves as the most important tool in shaping a community's liquor environment outside of the Liquor Control Act.

In essence, the department supports local government authorities shape the way liquor is sold and supplied in their communities.

An application for a liquor licence can't be approved by the department if local government planning approval has not been granted.

In accordance with sections 39 and 40 of the Act, an applicant for a licence is required to submit local government certificates demonstrating compliance with:

  • the Health Act
  • the Local Government Act
  • the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions ) Act
  • any other written law relating to sewerage and drainage
  • specific town planning scheme matters.

Section 39 and 40 certificates apply to:

  • the granting or removal of a licence
  • the altering or redefinition of a venue
  • an application for an alfresco area
  • applications for 'liquor without a meal' permits.

The licensing authority has the discretion to waive the requirement for a local government certificates to accompany an application during the licensing process.

However, an applicant would still have to obtain the relevant approvals from the local government authority prior to proceeding with any development and the applicant is still bound by local government authority health and planning requirements.

It is for these reasons and for consistency across government, that the licensing authority does not exercise its discretion to waive the requirement.

Local government's make the first determination in the usage of land, such as alfresco areas and footpaths, for licensed premises.

All local government bodies assist the department uphold the Liquor Control Act when required, and inform the department when a licensee is prosecuted and convicted of breaching local government regulations.

Applications for Certificates of Local Health Authority and Local Planning Authority

The role of WA Police

During the licensing process WA Police have the authority to make comment on whether an application should be granted or refused.

WA Police also have the ability to provide information about any person applying for a liquor licence or applying for permission to work within the liquor industry. This information may take the form of a Police clearance certificate, or be supplied by way of a more detailed background report.

The role of the Chief Health Officer

The Chief Health Officer has the authority to comment on any matter before the licensing authority based on the potential, or existence of harm or ill-health caused to people due to the use of liquor.

The Chief Health Officer has the right to oppose any application based on the negative health impacts that the granting of the licence may contribute to

The Role of the Liquor Commission

The Liquor Commission:

  • determines liquor licensing matters referred to it by the Director of Liquor Licensing
  • conducts reviews of certain decisions made by the Director, or by a single member of the commission
  • conducts reviews based on a question of law
  • determines complaints and disciplinary matters in accordance with section 95 of the Liquor Control Act
  • makes binding, high-level decisions in accordance with Act
  • awards costs associated with matters before the commission
  • reports annually to the Minister for Racing and Gaming on the activities of the commission
  • reports to the Minister for Racing and Gaming, when requested to do so, on the jurisdiction and functions of the commission, including the provision of high-level policy advice relevant to liquor control matters.

Liquor Commission of Western Australia

Contact us

Telephone 61 8 6551 4888
Freecall 1800 634 541 (WA country callers only)

Page reviewed 25 June 2024