Endeavour Drinks has confirmed that Woolworths has withdrawn its supreme court appeal application for the Dan Murphy’s Darwin outlet, in what may be the final leg to their quest to open the store.

As previously reported, the group has been trying to open a store under the Dan Murphy’s name in Darwin for five years now. They had proposed to transfer a liquor licence from a former BWS outlet to a new site as part of the Darwin airport expansion, an application that was rejected by the Northern Territory Liquor Commission in September last year, because the commission said a licence could not be transferred to an outlet that had not yet been built.

After this decision, Woolworths (as Endeavour’s parent company) lodged an appeal with the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NTCAT) in December, which was dismissed. 

In seeking to overturn this decision, Woolworths’ lawyers took the appeal to the supreme court. Initially, the case was set to be heard on 21 February, but then pushed back until late March due to the introduction of the Liquor Amendment Bill 2020. 

The appeal has been withdrawn from the supreme court due to this legislation, which allows Woolworths to file a new application in NTCAT. 

A spokesperson for Endeavour Drinks told National Liquor News: “The passage of the Liquor Amendment Bill 2020 through NT Parliament recently has provided the opportunity for the Woolworths Group to pursue its application in the NTCAT without the need for an appeal to the Supreme Court. The Woolworths Group has filed a new application in the NTCAT for the process to continue.”

They also confirmed that they are as committed to opening the store as ever, driven by the support of locals.

“Endeavour Drinks – the liquor retailers within the Woolworths Group – are still committed to bringing Dan Murphy’s to Darwin which continues to have overwhelming support of the Darwin community. We thank the people of Darwin for their patience throughout this process,” the spokesperson said.

Back in February, Shane Tremble, General Manager Corporate Services, Endeavour Group, told National Liquor News that, should they return to NTCAT after the Liquor Amendment Bill 2020 has passed, they will know for sure whether they can open the store.

He said: “The Bill does not provide any guarantee of a successful application. If the Bill is passed in its current form it will mean that we will return to NTCAT for another hearing. This new proceeding will determine whether we can bring the Dan Murphy’s brand to Darwin.”

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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