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.