Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2018 Contents NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS FEBRUARY 2018 | 85
THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME
INDICATIONS THE WA ECONOMY
IS RECOVERING, ARE YOUR
MEMBERS SEEING THIS AS WELL?
In recent months, there have been positive signs
that the Western Australian economy is moving
in the right direction. However, it will take
some time for consumers to become confident
that history will not repeat itself.
When a community goes through a
downturn like WA has, people become
concerned for their ability to sustain their
lifestyle over the long term and often restrict
their spending on perceived luxury items.
The new State Government is currently
implementing a number of changes it has
labelled as ‘budget repair’ which involves
unpopular and confidence-damaging moves
such as utility price increases and job cuts
across the public sector.
This constant negative economic news about
the state’s finances puts downward pressure on
the confidence of all Western Australians.
In relation to consumer spending levels
increasing, until the community can see some
light at the end of the tunnel and not just a
dull glow it will be a slow and steady path to
recovery and consumer confidence.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE
HIGHLIGHTS FOR LSA WA IN 2017?
There were a few highlights for this year.
This past year has seen our association build
strong relationships with government and
other agencies, giving us the opportunity to
have some influence on decisions that affect
our industry. An example of this was the
State Government agreeing to allow regional
packaged liquor stores to open on Sunday 10th,
17th, 24th and 31st of December (our current
legislation does not allow liquor stores to sell
packed liquor on Sundays).
After an extended negotiation with the Office
of Minister Paul Papalia and the Department, a
common sense outcome was achieved without
any requirement for an Extended Trading
Permit and at no cost.
Our industry awards were a great
success. A worthy winner of our ‘Quiet
Achiever Award’ Anita Grace, who owns the
Cellarbrations liquor store in Newman (in the
Pilbara region) has for many years involved
herself in all aspects of and continues to be a
leader in her community.
WHAT WILL BE YOUR MAJOR
FOCUS FOR THE YEAR AHEAD?
The Liquor Stores Association of WA is
proud to have developed a Takeaway Alcohol
Management System (TAMS) that enables
the Government’s Banned Drinkers Register
to become a useful tool in reducing alcohol-
related harm on an individual level.
The system will make individuals who
cannot, or will not, responsibly manage their
alcohol intake more accountable for their
actions, providing an alternative to the sledge
hammer approach of restricting sales across a
We hope this will reduce the likelihood of
future community-wide restrictions and create
development opportunities for many regional
operators who currently operate under heavy
restrictions. To date, we have met with Senior
Ministers, department heads and industry
groups and the feedback has been very positive.
The implementation of TAMS will be one of
our major focuses in the coming year.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MAJOR
OPPORTUNITIES FOR LIQUOR
RETAILERS IN 2018?
The LSA WA spent a significant amount of
time and resources reviewing and restructuring
our business last year. That work has provided
us with strong platforms to better assist our
members to grow and take advantage of
opportunities such as marketing and sales-
based training and other technology-based
Many of our internal changes will also allow
us to provide more information to members as
well as better promote the incredible work that
so many family-run businesses in our sector
provide to the community.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE KEY
CHALLENGES FACING LSA WA?
One of the most significant challenges we face
is not limited to Western Australia but appears
to be across all jurisdictions in Australia; the
Many lobby groups seem to be very well-
resourced and look to constantly gain ground
unless all areas of the liquor industry work
together to counter the often irrational and
discriminatory messages put forward
The LSA WA has actively worked to engage
with other associations and will continue to do
so where opportunity exists to work together
on the common goal of sensible regulation
based on evidence and facts.
WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO
BECOMING AN LSA WA MEMBER?
There are many good reasons to support your
In the absence of a united, well-resourced
voice for a product like packaged liquor, we are
all vulnerable. There is nothing more certain
than alcohol being on the agenda of many
professional nay-sayers in coming years and
without a strong voice of reason defending
the industry, politicians and bureaucrats will
receive only one side of every argument.
Furthermore, the work the LSA WA has
undertaken in the past year will deliver strong
results in the future, better promoting, defending
and informing our members than ever before.
In such a rapidly moving sector as the liquor
industry, the value of this cannot be understated.
WHAT IS ONE ISSUE YOU’D LIKE
TO SEE URGENTLY ADDRESSED BY
The issue that is currently putting more of
our members at risk than any other has to be
the increasing tendency of police and other
regulators to impose blanket restrictions on our
trade when a much more pinpointed solution
The LSA WA understands and supports
the need for blunt tools to be used in extreme
circumstances, but we have noticed a recent
trend to use these heavy-handed restrictions of
trade as a first response.
The work the LSA WA has undertaken
on the banned drinker’s register is urgently
LOU SPAGNOLO, PRESIDENT
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