Fees slashed for remote pubs and clubs to support outback tourism

Small country pubs and clubs in very remote Queensland will have their licence fees slashed under a bill passed by the Queensland Parliament today.

The Liquor (Rural Hotels Concession) Amendment Bill 2018 will ensure new base licence fees for 112 remote pubs and 42 clubs will be cut to just $376 from July. This will see a saving of $3381 annually for the hotels and a halving of licence fees for clubs with no more than 2000 members.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said as well as pubs, these small, vital community clubs in remote bush communities also deserve a fairer go with some licence fee relief, too.

“It’s especially important in this Year of Outback Tourism that we support the viability of these hotels and clubs, as they are a critical part of the social fabric in our remote towns,” the Premier said.

“They often provide a diverse range of services such as accommodation, meals, petrol, general stores and postal services.

“They face very real financial pressures from small and declining local populations, difficult access during wet months, the small amounts of liquor some sell and the cost of freight.

“I have visited towns where the pub is one of the few commercial businesses left.

“In our very remote communities, the hotel is often the heart of the town. It’s where locals and tourists can enjoy a meal, a drink or meet with friends. And it’s quite often the venue for council meetings and more and more these days provide important local information for tourists and travellers.”

The licence fee reduction for remote pubs and clubs would exempt them from the current one-size fits all approach applied across the state. For a current commercial hotel licence the base fee is $3757, with an additional $4173 for each approved detached bottle shop.

All up, slashing the remote pubs and clubs’ concessions will cost the Government about $395,855 in lost liquor licence fees annually.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the new fee structure will take effect from July of this year.

“It’s essential we reduce unnecessary non-operational costs for very remote licenced venues to reflect their unique circumstances,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“The clubs involved include RSLs, bowls clubs, golf clubs, social and recreational clubs that range in size from around 20 to over 1000 members. The majority, if not all, the clubs in very remote areas of Queensland have less than 2000 members.”

Pubs and clubs eligible can be found in very remote areas across the state, from as far north as Bamaga, to Camooweal in the west and Hungerford in the south, along with venues on several islands off the coast of Queensland.

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