Licence changes may hit Adelaide's bars

Adelaide's burgeoning small bar scene could take a hit when a new "risk-based" liquor licensing system is introduced in November.

South Australia hotel

Adelaide's small bars may take a hit when a new "risk-based" liquor licencing system is introduced. (AAP)

Adelaide's burgeoning small bar scene could take a hit when they are required to pay thousands of dollars more per year for their liquor licences, South Australia's opposition government says.

The state's Liberal government last week revealed details of a new, risk-based licensing system that requires all alcohol-selling venues in "high risk" areas, not just small bars, to pay additional fees.

Simon Orders, co-owner of one of Adelaide's most popular night-time venues, Bank Street Social, says he is expecting to see his business' liquor licensing fees grow from $1600 to more than $6000.

Bank Street Social is located just off Hindley St, a notoriously violent night-time strip.

Because of the "high-risk" location, venues in this area will be slugged with a $500 fee, as well as venues hosting "sexually explicit" entertainment or boxing and martial arts events.

Venues who are licensed to sell past 2am, like Bank Street Social, will need to pay an additional $2000, or $6000 past 3am.

Shadow treasurer Stephen Mulligan says hotels and bars across the state are being stung by this "$3 million cash grab".

"The question has to be asked where this government's priorities are," he said.

"This was a government that promised lower costs in the lead-up to the last election."

Mr Orders says he is considering not trading past 3am.

"It's the cost of sales as well ... whether it's worth increasing and crossing your fingers, hoping it doesn't turn away customers," he said.

The changes will be implemented in November this year, but existing licence-holders will not be impacted until the annual fee renewal period in June 2020.

Published 26 May 2019 at 4:14pm
Source: AAP