The Director of Liquor Licensing in Western Australia has allowed extended trading hours for liquor retailers in the state this festive season.
The move will allow WA bottle shops to open in new ways on Sundays in the weeks around Christmas. The changes will be automatically applied, so business owners will not need to apply for extended trading permits or pay any fees. The changes will impact three Sundays – December 12, 19 and 26.
Under the extension, metropolitan liquor stores will be able to open at 8am (two hours earlier than is usually allowed) over these three dates. Regional bottle shops currently cannot trade on Sundays, but will be able to open from 10am to 10pm on those same dates.
The extension has been welcomed by industry and government, as it offers a great boost for small businesses and flexibility for communities.
Racing and Gaming and Small Business Minister, the Hon Reece Whitby, said: “Christmas and New Year can be an extremely busy time and this move enables small businesses to offer consumers more hours and more flexibility when purchasing their liquor this festive season.
“The decision not only reduces administrative burden and costs to licensees, it also reflects the McGowan Government’s commitment to balancing the responsible consumption of alcohol with the community’s desire to enjoy the festive season with family and friends.”
This sentiment was echoed by the industry, as providing support for retailers at a crucial time, while also balancing the interests of local communities.
Peter Peck, CEO of the Liquor Stores Association of WA, said: “This is once again a perfect example of a government that listens to and understands our industry and how important this period of time is for retail.
“This can only make independent liquor stores more profitable and continue to help them be a growing part of the liquor industry.”
Michael Waters, CEO of Retail Drinks Australia, said the move to extended hours was a positive for all involved.
“Like Minister Whitby, Retail Drinks and our WA members wholeheartedly welcome the decision by the Director of Liquor Licensing to allow both metropolitan and regional liquor store operators to open for additional hours over the festive trading period,” Waters said.
“This decision will not only benefit consumers during this busy time, but it strikes a fair balance between the needs and interests of the community, good regulation and the freedom to retail responsibly.
“We look forward to continuing to engage with the McGowan Government to secure positive policy outcomes on behalf of the state’s liquor retail industry such as these extended operating hours.”