Dan Murphy's liquor store on Como Hotel site
Please attribute the following comments to City of South Perth CEO Geoff Glass
Background: On 17 April 2015 the development application lodged by ALH Group Holdings Pty Ltd to redevelop the Como Hotel site, corner of Canning Highway and South Terrace, South Perth was approved by the Metro Central Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP).
The application, which proposes the upgrade of the hotel and development of a large-scale Dan Murphy’s liquor store on the site, had been previously presented to JDAP twice. On each occasion the Council, community and local and federal politicians expressed their strong opposition based on traffic, noise and safety concerns.
Following approval of the DA, Council passed a motion at an Ordinary Council Meeting held on 26 May 2015 to challenge the decision and the City engaged a lawyer practicing in liquor licencing to prepare the grounds of an objection and arranged for a legal review of the JDAP decision to be undertaken. As part of the approved motion, Council approved lodgement of a submission with the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor (DRGL) requesting the Dan Murphy’s liquor licence application be advertised for public comment. In addition, a liquor licence objection was submitted to DRGL in February 2016 and it is now in the process of considering this Liquor Licence Application.
On 15 February 2016 the appeal to the Supreme Court of Western Australia was heard. On 11 May 2016, the Supreme Court dismissed the City’s challenge. The City subsequently lodged a protective appeal, procedurally providing the City with 54 days to prepare and lodge a formal appeal, in the event that the Council resolved to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
What have been the City’s reasons for opposing the Dan Murphy’s liquor store on the Como Hotel site?
The City of South Perth Council, community and local and federal politicians expressed their strong opposition to the development application for a Dan Murphy’s at the Como Hotel based on concerns regarding increased traffic, detrimental impact and effect on social amenity and increase in alcohol related crime and violence.
The City engaged consultants to provide expert advice particularly relating to the impact on social amenity and good order of the locality arising from sales of volume discount liquor. The consultants outlined in detail the potential for undue harm, alcohol related crime and violence, and community concern arising from sales of volume discount alcohol.
Has the City made any submissions to the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor - Liquor Licensing?
Yes, in 2015 the City lodged a submission with the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor (DRGL) requesting the Dan Murphy’s liquor licence application be advertised for public comment.
The City engaged solicitors Jackson McDonald to prepare a comprehensive Objection Submission on its behalf to the DRGL in early 2016. Should the applicant, ALH Group Holdings Pty Ltd make a further submission to the DRGL, the City may then provide a further submission if considered necessary.
Will the City pursue the matter in the Court of Appeal?
The Council considered a confidential legal report pertaining to the City of South Perth v ALH Group Holdings Pty Ltd at a Special Council Meeting on 21 June 2016. Given the reasonably unlikely prospects of a successful appeal, the Council unanimously resolved not to appeal the Supreme Court decision to the Court of Appeal.
Further comments: In 2015 the Council put in place stricter conditions for the approval of licensed premises within the City. At the Council’s August 2015 meeting, a new policy, ‘Licensed Premises’ (P317) was adopted. The Policy ensures that the type and scale of licensed premises is appropriate for the location, and to provide clear guidance for assessing officers and the determining body to ensure consistent decision-making.
The policy requires that all prospective small bars and liquor stores complete an Impact Assessment Report that considers the effects of parking, noise, security, rubbish and the impacts on local amenity for properties within a 500m radius. All applications for liquor stores and small bars will now also require consultation with the community.
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