Tourism operators can offer a glass of wine

Tourism operators will soon be able to offer their customers a beer or glass of wine without having to hold a liquor licence.

TOURISM operators in Yanchep and Gingin will be able to serve alcohol without having to hold a liquor licence once the government changes liquor control regulations.

This week Premier Colin Barnett, who is also the Tourism Minister, said the Liberal National Government would change liquor control regulations so a tourism business could supply alcohol to visitors in the course of providing a tourism service.

Perth-Tours WA runs tours to Yanchep National Park and the Pinnacles.

Tours and operation manager Patricia Gamero said she was pleased to know they would be able to offer at least a glass of champagne to customers.

Mr Barnett said the need for tourism operators to have a liquor licence had stopped them from providing customers with a beer or wine while watching the sunset, or sitting around a campfire at the end of an adventure tour.

Former Racing and Gaming Minister Colin Holt, who stepped down from the position after Brendon Grylls wrested the National Party leadership from terry Redman said the changes to the regulations would reduce red tape and improve the conditions in which the tourism industry operated.

Labor Tourism spokesman Paul Papalia welcomed Mr Barnett’s announcement but said the policy had been lifted from WA Labor’s Plan for Jobs – this time, WA Labor’s policy to allow tourism operators to serve alcohol to their customers without a liquor licence.

In April, WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan announced that accredited tour operators would be permitted to sell and supply alcohol under certain circumstances, such as a glass of champagne at the start of a tour.

Mr McGowan also announced that innovative new businesses, such as distilleries, would be allowed to serve ‘mixers’ with their tastings.

Mr Papalia said close to the March State Election, the Barnett Government had finally taken an interest in tourism.

“But what have they been doing for the past eight years?’’ he said.

Mr Barnett said the State Government, through Tourism WA and Qantas, had entered into a new $7.2 million marketing deal over three years that was expected to bring thousands of visitors to the state.

He said the agreement would be used to promote inbound travel to WA from the east coast, Singapore, the United States and New Zealand, and to encourage wider dispersal through flights to Broome, Exmouth and other regional destinations.

“Perth is going through a once in 100 year transformation thanks to unprecedented public and private investment,” he said.

“It’s important for us to activate the new infrastructure – the hotels, bars, restaurants and public spaces – with leisure and business visitors.”

Another change announced by Mr Barnett will allow gambling on cruise ships for intrastate cruises and within 12 nautical miles of the Western Australian coastline.

First flagged when he took on the Tourism portfolio in April 2016, Mr Barnett said he had been working with Mr Holt to lift the restrictions, which kept cruise ship gaming floors closed when travelling between WA ports or within 12 nautical miles of the coast.