THE owner of the Malborough Motor Inn, Chandra Singh, is baffled by new liquor licensing fees introduced by the state government.
On top of the one-off licence fee for new vendors which was recently decreased from $10,000 to $500, operators will now be slugged an additional $500 per year at the very least, depending on the track record of the vendor.
"We pay a liquor tax already, we paid the new vendor's fee when it was $10,000, what's this one for?" Mr Singh asked, exasperated.
The new fee will be introduced to fund industry supervision and enforcement activities that target high risk venues, ultimately curbing alcohol-related violence and neighbourhood disturbances.
Mr Singh believes that regional pubs and clubs are being penalised for the alcohol-related problems that arise predominately in metropolitan areas.
"Why should a hotel operator in Cooma pay for more police in Kings Cross? We don't need extra patrols here, this fee is unfair," Mr Singh said.
The Accommodation Association of Australia (AAA) is preparing to argue a case against the new fee, and has dispatched a survey to members to gain a consensus on the issue.
The AAA is asserting that vendors who provide accommodation services as their main income source are not creating the problems or profiting significantly from liquor sales, and therefore these operators should be exempt from the fee.
"It is not our primary source of income, we just need to provide the service for our patrons," Mr Singh said.
"Five-hundred dollars might not sound like a lot, but with a profit margin of 50 cents per beer you've got to sell a lot of drinks to recoup that cost."
As per usual, the cost will be passed onto consumers.
"Your beer will cost you more because the politicians don't have the guts to take on the pubs and clubs that create the problem," Mr Singh said.
Business owners such as Mr Singh were not consulted prior to the announcement last week on April 11, and now it's out in the open, they're not afraid to make some noise.
Mr Singh is planning on making a formal complaint through the Accommodation Association of Australia.