WA Liquor Commission chairman releases statement in support of controversial Maylands liquor store

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE release of the WA Liquor Commission chairman’s statement in support of a Dan Murphy’s at the Maylands Peninsula Tavern site is a “devastatingly backwards step” according to a Maylands community group.

The WA Liquor Commission knocked back an extended liquor license for the $3.5 million bottle shop and small tavern earlier this year and proponents Australian Leisure Hospitality (AHL) were preparing to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court.

Yesterday, Commission chairman Seamus Rafferty released a 26-point document stating his support for the license, a decision which was overruled in February by his two fellow commissioners.

It is understood ALH will use these reasons to help overturn the refusal in the Supreme Court.

Mr Rafferty said granting the liquor application was “in the public interest”.

“The granting of the application will result in a tired and old licensed premise being altered to a modern and appealing destination for consumers,” he said.

“I accept that the introduction of a large destination-scale liquor store may cause an increase in harm or ill health based on the materials submitted by the parties.

“(However it) is not likely to result in offence, annoyance, disturbance or inconvenience over and above that which already exits in the locality.”

Mr Rafferty said the benefits of the proposed redevelopment included increased amenity to the area with the creation of a “new high quality modern, family-friendly bistro”.

However, Maylands Residents and Ratepayers Association vice-president Roger Tomlins said the community continued to “vehemently” oppose a Dan Murphy’s liquor barn going up at the site.

“(It’s a) devastatingly backwards step… it’s in complete opposition to the community’s view point,” he said.

Mr Tomlins said they supported the creation of a bistro.

He said they could not afford the “hundreds of thousands of dollars” needed to hire lawyers to fight AHL’s appeal in the Supreme Court.

Residents’ concerns about the development included an increase in antisocial behaviour, its location in a residential area and on a railway line, and the existence of six bottle shops within a 1km radius.

No date has been set for the Supreme Court hearing.

Last month the Metro Central Joint Development Assessment Panel went against City of Bayswater recommendations and signed off on a building permit for the liquor barn in Maylands.

ALH was granted approval for a one-year building extension, requested due to the ongoing legal proceedings with the Department of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.