Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Leisure Matters

More freedom for restaurants and bars

Liberal Announcement

A Liberal Government, if re-elected, will give people the ability to purchase alcohol without a meal at restaurants and also end an out-dated restriction which places an unnecessary burden on some bars with alfresco areas.

Premier Colin Barnett said Western Australia was maturing into a modern and culturally diverse State and some out-dated licensing conventions were overdue for change.

“Some of our liquor licensing regulations are now out-dated and create unnecessary restrictions and inconvenience for people visiting restaurants and bars,” he said.

A Liberal Government will reform liquor licensing arrangements to allow more flexibility for consumers, restaurants and bars by:

  • Legislating to allow alcohol to be served without a meal at restaurants that hold fewer than 120 people
  • Ending a restriction which prevents bar patrons from carrying their own drink from a bar’s licensed area to its alfresco area.

The Premier said the changes will give Western Australians freedom to enjoy a drink at a restaurant if they want to experience a different environment to a bar or tavern.

“This change will mean that people who would like to have a drink at a restaurant, for instance after a show or event, can do so without having to order a meal,” he said.

“The changes will also remove the restriction on bars that prevent a patron from carrying their own drink from the bar to an alfresco area if they have to pass through a non-licensed area to do so, such as a public footpath.”

This restriction has caused problems for venues such as The Flying Scotsman in Mt Lawley, and The George and the Belgian Beer Café in the Perth CBD.

The Premier said the Liberal-led Government had an impressive record in making decisions about improvements to the hospitality industry, balancing the need for a safe community with an appropriate level of freedom for people to socialise.

“Whether it be the introduction of barring notices excluding specific troublemakers from licensed venues, the reduction of red tape on BYO restrictions at some live entertainment venues, or allowing the consumption of alcohol in small charter vehicles such as limousines, the Liberal-led Government has continued the modernisation of WA’s liquor licensing regime,” he said.

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