These reforms relate to key features of the licensing framework, such as licence categories, exemptions from the Act and the regulator’s policies.
The aim is to reduce the red tape associated with having a licence, making it easier to do business. Key proposals being explored in Theme 1:
There is a difference between making it easy to apply for a licence (the application process) and being granted a licence (the assessment and approval process).
We want to explore ways to make it easier for licensees to apply for a licence or permit, as well as streamline the assessment process to make it quicker to obtain approval, while maintaining appropriate scrutiny during the assessment process.
There are 15 liquor licence categories under the Liquor Control Act 1988 (the Act). Each licence category has restrictions, such as trading hours and type of business. The licensing authority can further restrict an individual liquor licence with conditions.
The number of licence categories, restrictions, conditions and exemptions from the Act reportedly causes confusion for liquor licence applicants and established licensees. Some businesses require multiple licences/permits, and the current categories may
not be adaptable enough to meet changing industry needs.
Exemptions are used in situations where the Act should not apply, such as liquor being provided as a part of a religious service, or medicines which contain alcohol. Other exemptions in the Regulations exclude the Act from applying to liquor sales during
certain transport activities (for example interstate trains, aircraft or cruise ships), farmers markets and other functions.
This review will explore reducing red tape by expanding the exemptions to cover more business types, if they meet certain conditions (for example, producers).
Also under consideration are expanded exemptions to increase flexibility for occasional licences, events being held at venues which are not traditional 'bricks and mortar' premises.
There are currently 53 liquor policies to guide licensees on the Act and the expectations of the Director of Liquor Licensing. These will be reviewed, making it easier for people to find and understand the information they need. A related part of this
work under Theme 5 is the review of how information on liquor licensing is presented on the DLGSC and wa.gov.au websites.
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