Concerns policy too stringent

Llama Bar co-owner Tim Monaghan and Murfett Legal partner in hospitality law Jarrod Ryan. Picture: Andrew Ritchied427488
Llama Bar co-owner Tim Monaghan and Murfett Legal partner in hospitality law Jarrod Ryan. Picture: Andrew Ritchied427488

At a council meeting in August, Subiaco councillors approved its draft Liquor Licensing Policy to be advertised for public consultation and rejected councillor Mark Burns’ alternative motion to ‘cut the red tape’ and simplify the policy.

City of Subiaco chief executive Stephen Tindale said the City had received 75 public submissions regarding the proposed changes.

‘City staff are currently in the process of examining the submissions and a report is expected to be presented to the ordinary council meeting on November 25,’ he said.

Mr Monaghan, who is also a liquor licensing lawyer, said a progressive liquor policy was the key to Subiaco regaining its status as a popular and vibrant suburb.

‘Unfortunately, the current proposed liquor policy suggested would not relax the ‘barriers to entry’ much at all,’ he said.

Subiaco Business Association (SBA) president Geoff Parnell said the proposed policy was not enough to boost the hospitality sector and revitalise Subiaco’s CBD.

‘The main concern is that the policy gives the City discretion to refuse development approval taking into consideration grounds that are unrelated to planning and complying with its Town Planning Scheme 4, which already has quite onerous requirements,’ Mr Parnell said.

‘The proposed requirement for a planning application to now include a Public Interest Assessment (PIA) prior to development approval is a time-consuming and extremely expensive exercise for applicants.

‘It is not required in other progressive local governments who have or are developing their hospitality sectors successfully, such as the cities of Perth and Fremantle.’

Murfett Legal partner in hospitality law Jarrod Ryan said Subiaco had ‘gone too far’ with its amendments to the policy.

‘Providing a PIA will make the planning process for licensed premises in Subiaco one of the most stringent in the state, perhaps even the country,’ he said.