The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (16:34): My contribution on this bill will be very brief. I understand the outcome of this bill will be predominantly administrative, and I do not have much to say about this. However, I want to put on the record the inordinate increase in liquor licence fees that licence holders have experienced from last year to this. When we were considering the changes to the liquor licensing laws under the former government, we were told explicitly that, whilst there would be increases in fees, they would not be significant.
I have been contacted by licensees who are experiencing increases of 270 per cent from last year. This is not a cost that could have been anticipated and it is a significant impost to small businesses. I understand that this matter is not within the ambit of this bill, but nonetheless I want to take the opportunity to put this information on the record. The government really owes licensees and the community an explanation for why there has been such a dramatic increase in licence fees, especially when we were advised to the contrary.