Greetings for the seventh week of the Melbourne adventure. This week marks the beginning of the second half of my time at the IPA. If the first is anything to go by, more good times are still to come.
This week has seen me continuing to work on a report for the senate inquiry on the effect of red tape on the sale, supply and taxation of alcohol in Australia. Of particular interest has been looking into case studies surrounding the restrictions businesses face as a result of red tape enforcement by regulators.
Although the majority of cases are different across the states, a common theme is the licensee’s frustration with the limitations and costs on their business operations. An example of excessive indirect costs are time delays for licence approval. In NSW applications for a small bar licence are subject to an initial 30-day public consultation period before a duration of up to four and a half months for approval – Western Australia in these respects does not fare any better.
An appalling example was an owner going through a two-year battle with the state regulator for his licence to be approved. Yet in this instance, what exacerbated the delay was frequent intervention by the Police Commissioner, as for every application lodged the police are notified. The owner has since stated that due to such arduous delays, this will be his last endeavour in growing Perth’s small bar space.
What makes this all relevant is it’s not just one or two instances where the public has demonstrated its dissatisfaction with the regulator, it’s many.
So let’s raise a glass and cheers to fighting the suppression of venue vibrancy!
Until next week,