Canberra’s peak industry body ClubsACT has applauded the report tabled yesterday resulting from the Inquiry into the Liquor Fees.
Chief Executive, Jeff House said the recommendations contained in the report should be considered as they seek a better balance for the licenced retail and hospitality industries.
“For many in the Clubs industry the liquor fees are a substantial cost of doing business. This cost, particularly those offering late-night entertainment has sky rocketed from $3,000 in 2009 to over $16,000 in 2012.
“It is fair to say the burden of cost recovery should not be shouldered by a few venues as all licensees have an obligation to serve alcohol responsibly.
“‘The last liquor fee determination saw some licences handed out for as little as $500 whilst a handful were made to pay $23,500. A licencing structure should recognise a range of factors but must not seek to competitively disadvantage businesses because of the type of venue they offer.
Eight recommendations were made in the report including a provision for the Government to adopt a more timely disclosure of the licencing fees, to develop educational campaigns designed to modify the culture of alcohol misuse, to recognise alcohol pre-loading’s relationship to alcohol related incidents and responsibilities of the off-licence vendors.
The report also highlighted the importance of the industry to the ACT economy.
The report stated that the common factor running through this line of inquiry is that the alcohol culture must be transformed from one in which alcohol…taken in moderation, makes a genuinely positive contribution to private and public life in the ACT.
“Alcohol in this country is highly regulated and business choosing to trade in this space subject to ever increasing scrutiny. It is refreshing to hear a value placed on the importance the industry provides to Canberra and its community.
“We look forward to working with Government on implementing the recommendations contained in the report, Mr House concluded.”
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