Victoria Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien
Brumby’s Liquor Fees Still Killing Live Music
Victor P Taffa
Victoria Premier John Brumby’s announcement on changes to venue security conditions does nothing to ease the threat that his $20 Million liquor licence fee hike poses to live music venues across Victoria.
Nothing in the Brumby Government’s so-called “accord” addresses the massive increase in liquor licensing fees that threatens the viability of many live music venues across Victoria.
“While John Brumby seems to have softened a bit on some of the ridiculous security conditions that were being imposed, he’s done absolutely nothing to deal with the $20 Million increase in liquor licensing fees, which is just as damaging to many live music venues as the security conditions were.” Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien said.
“John Brumby persists in treating live music venues as ‘high risk’ by forcing them to pay exorbitant liquor licensing fees and unless he addresses his greedy fee grab, many live music venues will struggle to survive.” Mr. O’Brien said.
Announcing the closure of the iconic live music venue, the Tote Hotel, owner Bruce Milne said ‘I can’t afford to keep fighting Liquor Licensing…I can’t afford the new ‘high risk’ fees they have imposed’.
“Bruce Milne’s statement demonstrates that it is the issue of unfair licence fees, not only security conditions, that is killing live music.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“John Brumby should scrap his unfair liquor licensing fee system and introduce a genuinely risk-based system.”
“Victoria’s reputation as the live music capital of Australia is on the line and our cultural vibrancy and the future of our most promising musicians are in jeopardy unless the Brumby Government admits its $20 Million licence fee increase has been a disaster for small businesses in the live music community.” Mr. O’Brien said.