Lisa Baker has welcomed the decision not to allow a Dan Murphy’s outlet in her electorate. (ABC News: Glyn Jones )
Residents in an inner city suburb of Perth, together with health authorities and police, have won a long-running battle to stop liquor giant Dan Murphy’s from moving into the area.
The WA Liquor Commission has refused to grant an application which would have seen the Woolworths-owned store built on a site opposite the train station in Maylands.
The Commission previously knocked back the plans in 2016 but the proponents, the Australian Leisure Hospitality Group, appealed to the Supreme Court, which ordered a review of the decision in 2017.
WA Labor MP Lisa Baker led the fight against the liquor giant, arguing the new store would be close to an area that already had a problem with street drinking and alcohol-related crime.
Ms Baker said the mindset of retailing “basically a legal drug” at the lowest price, was something her community was not comfortable with.
“When people leave the premises, there are issues like violence outside them and all the negative things that go around having lots of very cheap alcohol,” she said.
Woolworths said store would service growing population
The proponents argued in their appeal that the Dan Murphy’s store would have a positive impact on the amenity of the area and would service its growing population.
It also offered to contribute $50,000 as a one-off payment, followed by $5,000-a-year, to the local authority, the City of Bayswater, to help with alcohol harm minimisation strategies.
Included in its submission, it said a freeze on liquor licences across inner Melbourne had failed to make any significant impact on alcohol-related health problems.
It also cited a report predicting that alcohol consumption would continue to fall over the next five years due to rising health awareness and campaigns advocating responsible drinking.
The Federal Health Department has suggested introducing a minimum price for alcohol. (ABC News: Mitchell Woolnough)
Too many alcohol outlets: treatment centre boss
Cyrenian House treatment service chief executive Carol Daws said there was already an oversupply of liquor stores in Perth.
“I don’t believe there is any requirement to have that many liquor stores in one confined area,” she said.
“We all know there are issues with people drinking in excess of the amount that they should be drinking.
“I hope that the major liquor stores start to appreciate that many communities don’t want or need more alcohol,” she said.
Julia Stafford, from the Perth-based McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth, also welcomed the Commission’s decision to refuse the liquor barn application.
The centre has opposed many new liquor licences in the Perth metropolitan area, including several proposals by discount chain Aldi.
“This is an excellent outcome for the residents of Maylands who fought so hard to protect their community from yet another liquor barn selling cheap booze,” Ms Stafford said.
Alcohol Beverages Australia, a lobby group representing the liquor industry, has been contacted for comment.
Three quarters of the contacts made by the Nyoongar Outreach Service are related to alcohol (ABC News: Claire Moodie)