Coles loses liquor fight

The liquor superstore has been an issue for both Maylands residents and the City of Bayswater for nearly three years since Coles purchased the site from the Macquarie Bank.

Coles’ application to build it was denied by council with the overwhelming support of residents and local MP Lisa Baker; however that decision was overturned by the Central Metro Development Assessment Panel.

Most residents believed the fight was over when the WA Liquor Commission decided not to grant Coles a liquor licence at the site due to concerns over the welfare of at-risk residents and the easy availability of alcohol in the area.

But Coles, operating under the name Liquorland, elected to appeal against the decision in the WA Supreme Court. And after a hearing on February 19 before Justice James Edelman, the appeal was rejected.

Coles based its case on six key issues, all of which were rejected by Justice Edelman who, in his conclusion, said the evidence against the granting of the liquor licence was ‘voluminous’.

‘The right of appeal in these cases (is not) an opportunity to scrutinise reasons with a fine- toothed comb,’ he said.

‘Still less is it an opportunity to engage in this exercise after divorcing some paragraphs from the rest of the decision and the whole of the evidence, which in this case was voluminous.’

City of Bayswater Mayor Terry Kenyon welcomed the decision, which he described as a win for the local community.

Ms Baker, who mounted a significant campaign against the liquor store, said she was overjoyed.

‘I cannot wipe the smile off my face, this is a fantastic result,’ she said. ‘It justifies all the concerns the residents had.

‘Now it is time to look to the future and for Coles to build a development the local community can be proud of as an entrance-way to Maylands.’

Ms Baker said community support for a tavern development was still high.

A Coles spokeswoman said Coles Liquor would review the Supreme Court’s decision and then consider its options with regards to the Maylands site.