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WA liquor  process slow, costly: Woolies
Cumbersome and costly: Woolworths hits out at WA liquor process. Picture: Supplied

Woolworths has attacked WA's liquor licensing regime, branding it the most cumbersome and costly in Australia and an inconvenience for consumers.

The supermarket giant said liquor licence applications took up to four times longer to process in WA than in NSW and Victoria and legal costs were up to 49 times higher.

The extraordinary broadside came in a submission to WA's economic watchdog, which is conducting an inquiry into microeconomic reform that will partly look at red tape costs.

In its submission, Woolworths said there was a "lack of clarity" about which agencies were responsible for processing and scrutinising liquor licence applications.

The retailer said under current arrangements the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor was declining to use its powers of determination and was instead referring applications to the Liquor Commission.

Woolworths said this was leading to unnecessary delays and the situation was being compounded by the involvement of local councils.

It cited as an example its bid for a Dan Murphy's store at Canning Vale, for which it had to wait almost two years for approval.

"The WA liquor licensing application process is confusing, inconsistent and lacks clarity as to the role of different agencies and the various consent authorities," Woolworths said.

"The system is cumbersome and time-consuming, results in significant financial costs for applicants, discourages investment and inconveniences consumers."

Calling for an overhaul of the system, Woolworths said there should be a single body responsible for assessing applications, defined grounds for councils to refuse applications and more transparency about decisions.

Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron is considering a review into the Liquor Control Act that contained 141 recommendations.