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LABOR COMPROMISE ON ACT
The ACT Government has reacted to concerns from the territory's consumers
and promised to lessen the proposed enormous tax hikes on ACT drinkers.
The Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) described Labor's revised
proposals as an attempt to strike a compromise between local bottle shops
being one of the ACT's most important small-business employers, having
appropriate harm minimisation measures in place and the need to raise
ALSA's CEO, Terry Mott said: "While ACT liquor licensing fees remain the
highest of any Australian jurisdiction, the policy position Labor is taking to the
election is a compromise for ACT drinkers, as well as for staff and operators
of local bottle shops.
"The new schedule of liquor licensing fees for local bottle shops is a much
lower increase than the original enormous hikes which were proposed and
therefore, the pressure on job losses in our sector and prohibitive price hikes
for ACT drinkers will be not be as great."
ALSA and LSA ACT have run a campaign in the territory, which among
other things has called on consumers to sign a petition against the massive
licence fees increases proposed by the Government.
As well as the overall quantum of licence fees being reduced by 75 per
cent, ALSA and LSA ACT have also had success with the Government
agreeing to the proposal to put the additional funding collected into a
consumer education campaign.
The newly proposed licence fee structure will see no change for stores
with gross annual liquor purchases (GLP) below $3 million. For stores with
GLP of between $3 million to $4 million, fees will go up by five per cent to
$21,381.15; for stores with GLP of between $4 million and $5 million it is a
10 per increase to $22,399.30; stores with GLP of between $5 million and $6
million will see a 15 per cent increase to $23,417.45 and stores with GLP of
over $6 million will see a 20 per cent licence fee increase to $24,435.60.
Mott added: "On behalf of local bottle shops -- and ACT drinkers --
ALSA will steadfastly hold both Labor and the Liberals to account on all
components of their respective policies that may impact on our sector for the
next four years.
"Our campaign against the original proposals has been highly successful
and was strongly supported by local customers.
"Store operators and the 300,000 shoppers who visit bottle shops across the
ACT every week do not take kindly to unfair cost imposts which have no impact
on lifting the level of responsible consumption of alcohol across Canberra."
ALDI'S WA LIQUOR EXPANSION HALTED
Aldi's plans to sell alcohol
in its new Western Australia
stores have been dealt a blow
after its latest liquor licence
application was refused.
As previously reported,
Aldi is expanding in WA
and in May became the first
supermarket in the state to
be granted a liquor licence,
with a second store approved
in August. However WA's
Director for Liquor Licensing
(DLL) has now refused the
German retailer's third and
fourth applications in the
state, with stores in Harrisdale
and now Joondalup being refused licences.
But the German retailer has said that it is planning to appeal the
decision about its liquor licence application for Joondalup.
"We are disappointed with the outcome of this decision, which denies
Western Australian shoppers an offering available to many of our
customers on the eastern states and which is strongly demanded by the
public in Joondalup," Anna McGrath, Managing Director -- Aldi Western
"Aldi began to offer liquor in our Victorian stores in 2003 and since
this date, our offering has become a familiar and convenient part of a
standard household shop. Our goal is to bring this same convenience,
efficiency and quality range to shoppers in Western Australia."
Aldi currently holds more than 260 liquor licences nationally, with
liquor available in selected Aldi stores in NSW, ACT and Victoria. Unlike
other supermarkets, Aldi does not have detached or, large format liquor
stores and does not carry any chilled alcohol products for immediate
In a statement about the WA licences, an Aldi spokesperson told
National Liquor News: "The public of Perth have spoken very loudly
through social media and in other forums, including at Aldi supermarkets
that have opened in Western Australia, regarding their strong support for
Aldi operating in WA and its liquor service.
"Thousands of people have expressed demand for the Aldi liquor range
that is so popular in the eastern states to be available to them in WA.
"Aldi is applying for liquor licences at a number of potential store
locations, including Butler and Wattle Grove. Aldi are currently assessing
those licences and their conditions, after receiving conditional approval.
"As a responsible and experienced retailer, Aldi strictly observes all
regulations for the purchase of alcohol and partners with DrinkWise
Australia as part of this commitment. Its range is carefully selected and
limited to a small segregated and clearly delineated area within store,
approximately one quarter of the size of a standard bottle shop.
"This means that the liquor area is covered by excellent surveillance,
alcohol purchases must be made during the limited opening hours of the
store and customers must enter the Aldi supermarket environment to
In refusing the Joondalup store's licence, the DLL highlighted that
there are currently three other liquor stores in the shopping centre where
the Aldi is located as well as a tavern. The DLL said: "The Centre and
the surrounding locality are well catered for in terms of packaged liquor
outlets," adding that putting another licence in the Centre "would not
be consistent with the public interest nor the objects of the [WA Liquor
Aldi also has WA licence applications before the DLL for a store at
South Lake and one at Lakelands.
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