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Liquor laws not so great after all. A dim bulb lights amongst the Greens

By johnboy - 31 May 2011 12

The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury is slowly coming to the realisation that RiotACT was right about last years liquor law reform being a steaming pile of the grubbiest sort of politics aimed at driving competitors to the Labor Party’s commercial interests from the market.

OK, he’s not quite willing to go into the why’s but he’s coming around on the what’s.

The current fees could be fine-tuned to more fairly reflect the greater risk of alcohol fuelled violence created by the larger venues and supermarkets,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Smaller venues are carrying a disproportionate burden as some of the large supermarkets can sell sixty times as much liquor a year compared to smaller stores but only pay three times the licence fee. That could be evened out to set a fairer fee structure that more accurately reflects risk.

In addition to looking at supermarkets, the ACT Greens submission also covered pubs and clubs and found improvements could be made to encourage small and medium sized venues.

“Small to medium sized venues, in addition to improving the diversity of Canberra nightspots, also have far fewer incidents of violence. Reducing fees for these venues is one way we could encourage a safer and more vibrant Canberra nightlife.

“The Greens supported the intent of last years reforms to the Liquor Act, but were frustrated that Government ended up adopting such a blunt model where an eighty person pub is in the same category as an eight hundred person nightclub.

“There are real improvements that can be made and that is why we set up the review process last year,” Mr Rattenbury said.

UPDATE: We’re hosting the full submission here.

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
Liquor laws not so great after all. A dim bulb lights amongst the Greens
averagejoeaussie 12:14 am 02 Jun 11

Another government cock-up……….one after the other after the other after the other..

Dante 10:01 am 01 Jun 11

BimboGeek said :

The problem is, though, that it’s been a tough year anyway, for hospitality and entertainment. It’s hard to place the blame on liquor licensing when lots of businesses were going to change hands due to financial pressure no matter what.

..so you’re saying that increased licencing costs during a tough year aren’t responsible for financial pressure?

This makes no sense.

PM 10:00 am 01 Jun 11

BimboGeek said :

PM said :

It’s hard to quantify at this stage. A number have changed hands (not for a proft). Some have closed.

The problem is, though, that it’s been a tough year anyway, for hospitality and entertainment. It’s hard to place the blame on liquor licensing when lots of businesses were going to change hands due to financial pressure no matter what.

Alcohol traditionally survives recessions etc. Despite that, it’s a number of businesses who have diversified services ie not just booze which are doing better than others.

BimboGeek 9:19 am 01 Jun 11

PM said :

It’s hard to quantify at this stage. A number have changed hands (not for a proft). Some have closed.

The problem is, though, that it’s been a tough year anyway, for hospitality and entertainment. It’s hard to place the blame on liquor licensing when lots of businesses were going to change hands due to financial pressure no matter what.

cleo 12:16 am 01 Jun 11

RIP Canberra, it might as well be dead, so boring, no wonder people don’t stay here.

Buckaroo_Banzai 12:07 pm 31 May 11

I know of at least 2 venues that haven’t closed as a direct result of the laws, but have had their opening times severely restricted due to the prohibitively expensive licensing fees.

Seems like if you’re not interested in going to one of the big night spots, you’re only allowed to stay out until 2am on the weekend.

While I don’t go out too much these days, I know in my more active clubbing days I’d consider a night out to be a failure if I was home before dawn.

PM 11:58 am 31 May 11

johnboy said :

There’s a lot of stress and changing of business operations to more rapaciously commercial running.

Still too early for closures, but just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

It’s hard to quantify at this stage. A number have changed hands (not for a proft). Some have closed. It has eaten into profits, and usually it is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so to speak. Having said that, some smaller venues will survive because other smaller venues have closed ie increased patronage at one place at the expense of another.

johnboy 11:46 am 31 May 11

There’s a lot of stress and changing of business operations to more rapaciously commercial running.

Still too early for closures, but just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

amarooresident3 11:43 am 31 May 11

How many smaller venues have closed as a result of the laws?

Dante 11:23 am 31 May 11

Totally agree with both comments. Surely if the Greens hold the balance of power then they should not pass bills that they take issue with.

They’ve shown themselves to be ineffective in Government IMO, and I was a staunch supporter going into the last election.

i just can’t do it again.

Jim Jones 10:15 am 31 May 11

Yep. The new liquor laws have been an utter cockup.

PM 10:10 am 31 May 11

Then why did they support the laws?

They didn’t have to… they agreed on the proviso a nightrider would be provided on a trial basis, and of course it failed because the govt put no respirces behind it.

They could have held off, but they didn’t.

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