City violence sees fee increase for grassroots clubs

Grassroots Victorian sports clubs such as the Hampton Rovers Football Club have been forced to pay around 300% more for liquor licensing fees in 2010 as a result of the State Government’s fee increase.

As reported in the Sunday Herald Sun on 23/02/2010 (page 23), increased State Government fees introduced to address alcohol-related violence at high-risk Victorian venues have seen hundreds of footy, cricket, soccer, baseball and bowls clubs slapped with big rises in their liquor license costs.

Strip clubs, problem pubs and nightclubs have been hit hard under the reforms, with some paying up to $30,000 more.

But amateur sports clubs run by volunteers say they have been tarred with the same brush and forced to pay unfair and often untenable rates.

Opposition consumer affairs spokesman Michael O’Brien said the Government was passing on the cost because it had been unable to clean up alcohol-fuelled violence.

          “Sporting clubs are the heart and soul of the community and they should not bear the burden of John Brumby’s unfair liquor licensing fees,” he said.

Hampton Rovers AFC sees the fee increase as a knee-jerk reaction by the State Government and is disappointed that not-for-profit organisations such as us are being forced to pay the consequences of alcohol-fuelled violence in Melbourne’s CBD.

The changes came into effect on January 1, with a base fee of $397 for a restricted club license.

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