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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 17 November 2011) . . Page.. 5592 ..


Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee

Reference

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.11): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the motion of 18 November 2010 calling for a review of liquor licensing fees;

(b) the Government’s Review of Liquor Licensing Fees—Final Report tabled on 22 September 2011;

(c) the Liquor Amendment Regulations 2011 (No 2)—SL2011-29 and the Liquor (Fees) Determination (No 1)—DI2011- 295 came into effect on 11 November 2011; and

(d) the public concern about the new liquor licensing fees; and

(2) refers the Review of Liquor Licensing Fees—Final Report, the Liquor Amendment Regulations 2011 (No 2)—SL2011-29 and the Liquor (Fees) Determination (No 1)—DI2011- 295 to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety for inquiry and report by the first sitting day in March 2012.

It is a year tomorrow since this Assembly passed a motion calling on the government to review its liquor fee determination which came into effect on 1 December 2010. This determination heralded the government’s new liquor licensing regime which started also on 1 December last year. There has been widespread criticism from the industry about the liquor licensing regime with business owners and representative organisations alike critical of the new fees regime.

There has been extraordinary red tape and there has been a lack of critical information that has come from the government. The general level of criticism about the lack of consultation and the hefty increases in fees resulted in what I think was not the perfect outcome last year. But there was a review of the liquor licensing fees, which the minister undertook to bring back to the Assembly in October. The minister did bring back a review of the liquor licensing regime and there had been a high expectation when that happened that the community would see a draft of the new liquor fee schedule for the coming year. We did not see that until last week, some seven weeks after the report first saw the light of day.

I think that this has caught many on the hop. There have been substantial changes to the liquor licensing regime. There have been some winners. Some people will see their fees go down but a substantial number will see their fees go up. In addition to the substantial changes and the huge impost that some liquor licensees will incur, we have seen the Australian Hotels Association pointing out that nightclubs—pound for pound, square meterage by square meterage, occupancy by occupancy—are paying the


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