The Liquor Stores Association of Western Australia (LSA WA) hosted a members’ forum last week, giving its members the opportunity to raise concerns directly with Paul Papalia, the Minister for Police; Corrective Services; Racing and Gaming; Defence Industry; Veterans Issues.

The forum, which ran alongside LSA WA’s annual Sundowner networking event, was a great success with around 100 members in attendance, who were pleased to be given a direct line to speak with the Minister.

The main issues raised were around liquor restrictions, licensing concerns, and the ongoing issue of retail crime, including assaults to staff and theft, which has become a huge expense for retailers who have made the decision to employ security guards to protect their stores and staff.

Minister Papalia listened to the concerns and responded fairly, offering to facilitate the necessary conversations to improve collaboration between licensees and police.

Peter Peck, CEO of LSA WA, said that overall, the forum was a valuable experience for the members in attendance, and they look forward to positive outcomes to the matters that were raised.

“Minister Papalia spoke direct and answered the questions fairly positively each time they were thrown at him, and the feedback I’ve received from the retailers who asked questions, was that it was actually refreshing to get face to face with someone that could make a decision.

“What we’ll do now is we will follow up from those discussions that were raised at the forum with a number of meetings with Minister Papalia and his ministerial staff and will start to put the structure in place to look at rolling out the initiatives that were brought up, including a localised communication network between police and licensees.

“The input from the Small Business Commissioner was also really valuable, as he was speaking from an impartial position, being a commissioner he is not employed by the government, and it basically came together as a really constructive conversation that hopefully will bear some really essential outcomes for our industry, and will improve safety, security, and communication with the government department.”

Stay tuned for the April issue of National Liquor News, which will provide further information from the LSA WA members forum and the concerns that were raised on the night.

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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