The Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter is again taking up the fight for reasonable liquor licensing fees on behalf of small pubs which pay the same flat fee as a large city hotel.
“The base fee for a commercial hotel liquor license is $3,162, which for some of our small rural hotels, turning over $3,000 to $4,000 a week, is a huge impost.
“It takes small pub owners three weeks of trading to break even, and they’re struggling to stay afloat,” Mr Katter said.
He said he had taken up the issue with the previous LNP Government in 2013 and had tried to get some changes under the Liquor Red Tape Reduction Amendment Bill 2013 regarding hardship provisions for annual licence payments.
“The response given was that it was not possible for the State Government to apply a licence fee calculated on a percentage of gross liquor purchase per venue – that would contravene the Australian Constitution.
“However, I am suggesting a tiered system of licensing fees that recognises the limited income of smaller hotels to ensure a fairer system and I have asked the Attorney-General to consider that.”
Mr Katter said small rural and regional pubs were an important part of the community fabric, and their support role for the community has become very significant during the current long term drought.
“Like everyone else in rural communities, small pub owners are doing it tough, and I’m calling on the Government to make any changes necessary so that they’re not forced to close.”