Li­cence ap­provals lashed

Hos­pi­tal­ity boss blasts com­mis­sion over Dan Mur­phy’s

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - SIMEON THOMAS-WIL­SON

THE Tas­ma­nian Hos­pi­tal­ity As­so­ci­a­tion wants the Liquor and Gam­ing Com­mis­sion scrapped, la­belling it a “waste of tax­pay­ers’ money”.

THA gen­eral man­ager Steve Old says the lack of any pub­lic hear­ings around the ap­proval of li­cences for bar­gain liquor gi­ant Dan Mur­phy’s in Launce­s­ton and Ho­bart showed why the com­mis­sion was not re­quired.

“We are call­ing for the clos- ing down of the Liquor and Gam­ing Com­mis­sion,” Mr Old told the Sun­day Tas­ma­nian.

“It’s a worth­less waste of Tas­ma­nian tax­pay­ers’ money.

“The com­mis­sion doesn’t do any­thing, what is the point of pay­ing three mem­bers of the board to sit around and do noth­ing?

“When the Dan Mur­phy’s was pro­posed in Launce­s­ton, there were 69 rep­re­sen­ta­tions for and against it but no pub­lic hear­ing, the com­mis­sioner just hands out the li­cence.

“We thought it would be dif­fer­ent with the one in Ho­bart but no, again, it’s just ap­proved de­spite sig­nif­i­cant com­mu­nity re­sponse on both sides. What is the point of it?

“When it comes to liquor li­cences, you might as well just have the com­mis­sioner and the depart­ment, be­cause they are just ap­prov­ing the li­cences any­way.”

The Liquor and Gam­ing Com­mis­sion is an in­de­pen­dent body re­spon­si­ble for the reg­u­la­tion of gam­ing in Tas­ma­nia, un­der the Gam­ing Con­trol Act, and as an ap­peal body un­der the Liquor Li­cens­ing Act.

It has three mem­bers and is funded about $6 mil­lion a year by Trea­sury. How­ever, Mr Old said the money could be bet­ter spent else­where.

“You could take the money and put it into an­other part of Trea­sury that will ac­tu­ally do some­thing,” he said.

“You could bol­ster harm min­imi­sa­tion, you could do a lot of other things that would be a lot bet­ter than pay­ing mem­bers to sit around.

“They aren’t hold­ing pub­lic hear­ings on ap­pli­ca­tions, they are just mak­ing the de­ci­sion with­out peo­ple.”

Dan Mur­phy’s won ap­proval for a Ho­bart store at New Town.

A State Govern­ment spokesman played down Mr Old’s con­cerns.

“This [Dan Mur­phy’s] high­lights that Tas­ma­nia’s econ­omy is grow­ing and peo­ple are look­ing to in­vest,” he said.

“The Liquor and Gam­ing Com­mis­sion is an in­de­pen­dent body, at arms-length from govern­ment.” hear­ing from the

OLD: Call­ing for change.

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