The WA Liquor Commission refused the extension of a liquor licence a month ago, a move that stalled the Woolworths majority-owned ALH’s plans to construct a 990sq m Dan Murphy’s bottle shop at Maylands Peninsula Tavern.
In a 55-page document that sets out reasons for the determination, the Commission stated the approval would not be in the public interest.
“In the Commission’s view, the proposed Dan Murphy’s store will, on the balance of probabilities, have a negative impact on the local community and the ‘at- risk’ groups in particular,” it stated.
An ALH spokesman would not comment but confirmed the company would appeal against the decision in the Supreme Court.
Ms Baker said despite community outrage and Bayswater City Council and a Commission rejection, “they still think they know best”.
“To take it past every umpire where the community can go, then take it to the Supreme Court where the community can’t follow… it’s an appalling abuse of their role as a corporate citizen,” she said.
“The big issue is that it’s very hard for a small community group (to fight) – it will cost up to $200,000; there’s no community group that could afford that.”
Maylands Residents and Ratepayers Association president Roger Tomlins said they had a temporary win with the Commission’s decision but the current appeal process was daunting as they were up against ALH’s “overwhelming resources”.
“We’re devastated that they’ve gone to the extent of coming back to the commissioner with such heavy ammunition,” Mr Tomlins said.
“I got delivered a huge box of legal paperwork from ALH, it’s too daunting to read at the moment.”
Mr Tomlins said another concern was if ALH did not come back with improved plans, they could leave the site empty, such as the old Cascade site that remained empty after a failed bid by Coles to construct a First Choice liquor barn.
“Quite often their threat is if you don’t let us have what we want, we’ll just leave it as a desolate area in the middle of your community,” he said.
Residents’ concerns included an increase in anti-social behaviour, the fact the site is a residential area and on a railway line and the existence already of six bottle shops within a 1km radius.