Thursday, October 9, 2014

A New Risk-based Licence Fee Scheme

For those considering taking out a liquor licence make sure you know the licensing fee scheme. 

From the 2014/15 financial year, every holder of a perpetual liquor licence will be required to pay an annual risk-based licence fee. The fee payable by each venue will be calculated using a risk-based model comprising:
  • base fees, plus 
  • risk-based loadings that reflect the level of risk posed by a venue and its operation.
The scheme is designed to provide venues with a financial incentive to adopt and maintain safe, low-risk practices, with a renewed focus on the Responsible Service of Alcohol, in return for a lower annual licence fee.
The base fee will be set according to the licence type. It will range from $100 to $2,000 as follows:
  • Hotel licence (full hotel)- $500; hotel licence (general bar)- $250; Small bar licence- $200
  • On-premises licence- $400
  • Package liquor licence (less than 4 outlets)- $500
  • Packaged liquor licence (more than 9 outlets)- $2,000
  • Producer/wholesaler (small scale)- $200
What will licensees pay?
Once a year, a licensee will pay a base fee of between $100 and $2,000 for each licence held (indexed to the CPI annually). Licenses which pose a greater risk or compliance cost will also pay risk-loading according to the type and level of risk. In the first year of the scheme only the trading hours risk loading fee is payable. From the 2015/16 financial year onward, licensees will be assessed for all risk-based loadings.
Risk-based loadings will be calculated according to:
  • authorised trading hours; 
  • compliance history; 
  • patron capacity; and 
  • venue location.
Risk-based loadings will escalate to reflect the level of risk that a venue poses. High risk business operators with a large, late trading venue located in a major entertainment precinct and with poor performance history will attract the highest fees.

Trading hours risk loading
A loading of $2,500 will apply to venues authorised to trade between midnight and 1:30am on any day. Venues authorised to trade after 1:30am on any day will incur a loading of $5,000.
This risk loading does not apply to:
  • an on-premises licence relating to a restaurant provided that it does not have a primary service authorisation (PSA)
  • an on-premises licence relating only to accommodation and/or a catering service
  • a packaged liquor licence
  • a small bar licence
  • a limited licence (multi-function)
It is possible to apply to the Liquor Authority to reduce trading hours after midnight to reduce the risk and lower or avoid the trading hours risk loading.

For more information on “compliance history risk loading”, “patron capacity risk loading” and “venue location risk loading” 

Call Dru Gillian - solicitor
Direct: 02 8215 1584  
Web site: 

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