Sunday, May 26, 2024

No license fee increase for ACT independent liquor retailers

The proposed 25 per cent liquor license fee increase for off-premise licenses with annual purchases of $1 million plus per annum, as recommended by the ACT Liquor Act White Paper, will not be adopted.

MGA Liquor, which lobbied against the increase for many months, says the proposed increase was meant to target “high volume, big discount off-licenses”. MGA Liquor, through its ACT committee member Peter Karkazis, strongly argued on behalf of ACT members that smaller liquor stores with annual purchases of $1 million were not high-volume stores.

In a letter to MGA Liquor, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said, “After consultation with industry, we now think that the minimum annual packaged liquor purchase figure should be set much higher – $3 million per annum – to make sure we aren’t impacting boutique or small, local stores.

“The Government is now looking at increasing license fees for off-licenses with a turnover above $3 million a year, with no change proposed for smaller stores.”

MGA Liquor says the proposed unsustainable liquor license fee increase would have added a further financial burden to many already struggling smaller off- premise licensed independent liquor stores, which already pay the highest liquor license fees of any state or territory.

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