State heeds liquor recommendations

Calls for the liberalisation of liquor licensing laws have been heeded by the state government, which this week announced sweeping changes to the way alcohol will be sold in Western Australia. Mark McGowan (right), the minister for racing and gaming, said the government had adopted most of the recommendations of a review headed by former banker Jim Freemantle. This included allowing restaurants to apply for a licence to sell liquor without serving a meal, replacing the public needs test with a public interest test and allowing bottle shops to trade on Sundays in the metropolitan area. In addition, Mr McGowan said the government was adding a new concept, that of a small bar license that provided for outlets catering for up to 100 people. "That will help encourage more of those smaller bars that we see in places like Melbourne," he told WA Business News.

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