Ninety-three per cent of the 260 liquor licence applications made in Western Australia since July 2007 have been approved, despite widespread industry condemnation over the amount of consideration given to objections from WA Police and the Department of Health.
Despite just 17 applications having been rejected, opposition leader Mark McGowan launched a fresh reform push for Western Australia’s liquor licensing laws last month, campaigning for equal consideration to be given for the tourism benefit of proposals as is given to the potential for harm or ill health.
But Department of Racing Gaming and Liquor director general Barry Sargeant said it was incorrect to assume the potential for harm had more weight than tourism benefits when determining licence applications, which were determined solely on their merits.
“In all cases, those decisions are based on the evidence presented to the licensing authority,” Mr Sargeant said in a document released by the department.
“If one knows what one is doing and if the premises are suitable for the purpose, it’s not becoming more difficult,” he said.
“In fact, it’s becoming more obvious that small bars are less troublesome and less risky than larger-type premises or other types of licences, therefore they are more likely to be favourably approached or reacted to by the key stakeholders, being the police and the health department.”