Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar and Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki have toured Western Queensland pubs this week to discuss the unfair commercial hotel licencing rates charged to small Western Queensland pubs.
While Western Queensland was struggling under seven years of unending drought, small pubs in towns like Blackall, Isisford and Yaraka are paying upwards of $3,600 a year for their commercial hotel licence.
Mr Millar says he’s disgusted to report that pubs throughout rural Queensland are paying the same amount for their licences as pubs in the centre of Brisbane.
“The Government has dragged their heels on the issue since it was introduced in March 2017, all the while Western Queensland pubs are doing it tough.”
“Amazingly, the Yaraka Hotel, with a population of 12 and a total catchment of just 117 people, pays the same amount for their licence as the Breakfast Creek Hotel in Brisbane, with a population of over two million.”
“This isn’t a new issue however, with the Katter Party initiating a bill to reduce the cost for small rural pubs down to $360 a year.”
Shadow Attorney-General, David Janetzki, says the fees are another example of the State Government governing for Brisbane and not for the whole of Queensland.
“It’s despicable to think that the State Government would be stalling on this bill, which will directly benefit pubs throughout rural Queensland that are already struggling from a number of issues.”
“Rural pubs are more than a place to have a beer – they are the community meeting place, the local restaurant, the first destination for tourists and a vital part of any local community.”
Both men are calling for changes.
“When the Government can find $17.3 million for a new bike track in South Brisbane, surely they can afford to support these rural pubs at a cost of less than two percent of the bike track.”
“The proposed changes would affect around 110 rural pubs, with a loss of around $300,000 in State government revenue.”