Public interest assessment

Applications for new liquor licences; the removal of existing licences; and applications for permits such as ongoing hours permits must be accompanied by a public interest assessment.

It is up to the applicant to determine how much information they include in their public interest assessment when they lodge their application with the licensing authority.

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

Applicants for an ongoing hours extended trading permit must, in accordance with section 38 of the Liquor Control Act, convince the licensing authority that their application is in the best interests of the public by completing a PIA. While the Act does not provide for different tests for different application types the specific nature of the documentation and evidence provided in support of applications for these types of permits is likely to be different from the grant of a new licence.

The successful completion of a public interest assessment is not intended to be a complicated process, and it is important to note that there is no provision within the Liquor Control Act 1988 that states that public interest assessments be prepared by legal counsel or industry consultants.

Applicants can complete their own public interest assessment by following the guidelines provided within the Public Interest Assessment Policy, and by taking a common-sense approach to their submission and liaising with the relevant key stakeholders and interest groups in the community.

A form is available to assist applicants in the preparation of a public interest assessment submission which sets out the criteria contained in the Director of Liquor Licensing’s Public Interest Assessment Policy in a questionnaire format.

The licensing authority can request further information from the applicant should it be determined that specific aspects of the PIA need more detailed consideration.

An applicant must lodge a public interest assessment submission to support their application for a liquor licence, which outlines information on the premises impact on a number of factors including, but not limited to:

  • The harm or ill-health caused to 'at-risk' groups within the locality which might include:
    • children and young people;
    • Aboriginal people and communities;
    • people from regional, rural and remote communities;
    • families;
    • migrant groups from non-English speaking countries;
    • low socio-economic areas;
    • mining communities or communities with a high number of itinerant workers; and/or
    • communities that experience high number of tourists.
  • Information on the social health indicators for the suburb or town in which the premises is located, which might include:
    • the incidence of alcohol-related crime in the area (as reported by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, or by WA Police, or the Office of Crime Prevention), and
    • the rates of, and general trends in, alcohol-related hospital admissions (available from local Population Health Units and the Drug & Alcohol Office).
  • The impact on the amenity including:
    • a social profile of the locality;
    • the existing demographics of the population;
    • details of consultations with local government;
    • the location of all existing licensed premises within the suburb in which the proposed premises is to be located (outlet density information);
    • the nature of existing services provided by the various licensed premises within the specified locality;
    • the nature and type of facilities to be provided at the venue;
    • various other amenity issues, such as; access to, and diversity of, services and facilities in the area; available public transport facilities.
  • Strategies to combat offence, annoyance, disturbance or inconvenience including, but not limited to:
    • engagement of licensed crowd controllers;
    • the provision of food;
    • installation of noise limiters on all amplification equipment;
    • types of entertainment being provided;
    • lighting in and around the proposed premises; and
    • maximum accommodation numbers.

The Director's public interest assessment policy including a guide that can assist applicants compile public interest assessments is available below.

Related policy


Page reviewed 06 March 2024