The Court of Appeal has ordered the WA Liquor Commission ” which rejected the proposal to open a Dan Murphy’s store on Canning Highway in 2011 ” to review its original decision.
Three Supreme Court judges set aside the Commission’s ruling and the decision of a primary judge, who in an earlier appeal, dismissed Woolworths’ case.
The judges concluded the Commission didn’t correctly take into consideration the positive aspects of Woolworths’ application, including recognising consumer demand for its selection of alcohol.
A spokesman for Woolworths said the retailer was pleased by the Supreme Court of appeal’s decision and was confident Dan Murphy’s extensive range, excellent service and best prices would appeal to locals.
‘As one of the biggest sellers of WA wines, we already help to showcase many of the famous wine regions and producers in the State,’ he said.
If the proposed 2000sqm store goes ahead, it will be 700m away from First Choice Liquor on Canning Highway and will be one of 10 liquor stores within a 10km radius of Melville Plaza shopping centre.
Director of the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth Mike Daube said WA’s liquor laws did not allow alcohol outlet density to be considered in liquor licensing processes.
‘The McCusker Centre and other groups have recommended changes so that decision- makers can include consideration of this fundamental issue,’ Professor Daube said.
‘We are immensely frustrated that the government’s Liquor Control Act review is taking so long and have lost faith in the will of the government to deal with massively resourced companies like Coles and Woolworths.’
The centre has repeatedly expressed concern about the increase in giant liquor barns in WA and the growing focus on supplying cheap alcohol.
‘The evidence is clear ” the availability of alcohol in an area is closely linked to the alcohol-related problems experienced there,’ he said.