By Andrew Starke

A Liberal Party government would ease the financial pressure on over 10,000 sporting clubs, small businesses and community groups in Victoria by slashing ‘exorbitant’ liquor licensing fees.

Coalition leader in Victoria, Ted Baillieu, claims the Brumby government has increased fees for many sporting and community clubs by over 1000 percent, increased renewable licence fees by almost 600 percent and more than doubled fees for vignerons since 2008.

This has made holding a liquor licence unaffordable for many groups and increased costs for struggling small businesses.

If elected, Baillieu committed his government to cutting a range of liquor licence renewal fees by more than half, commencing from January 1, 2011.

“Our sporting and social clubs are the lifeblood of many communities across Victoria,” he said.

“They are not responsible for John Brumby’s failure to deal with a rising tide of alcohol-related violence, but Labor has made them the scapegoat for the government’s incompetence.

“Similarly, our restaurants, cafes and vignerons are a vital part of Victoria’s cultural mix, but Labor has treated them as though they are responsible for drunken violence and assaults.”

Under the Coalition’s policy, renewal fees for a BYO Permit, restricted club licence, vigneron’s licence, restaurant and café licence and limited licence would be cut from $405.80 to $200.

A full club licence (for clubs without gaming machines) would be halved from $812.70 to $400.

Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien said that Labor’s liquor licence fee hikes had increased total charges from $10 million to $35 million since 2008.

“Labor’s tax grab has hurt local sporting and social clubs and even service organisations such as Rotary and Lions clubs,” he said.

“These groups are the glue that binds our community; they are not the cause of violence on our streets as Labor has treated them.”


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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