ACT Government’s Broken Promises lead to Worst Trading Conditions in History

By on June 26, 2016

The ACT club industry is experiencing some of the worst trading conditions in history, due to an unprecedented level of legislative and regulatory changes imposed on them by the Government.  Liquor, gaming, water and rate charges have increased significantly, and are seriously threatening clubs’ ability to serve the community.

Despite the Government promising to review the burdens, the recent ACT budget announcements and liquor license white paper contradicts these claims.  Commercial rats are set to rise again next year by at least seven per cent, which will result in some clubs realising a tripling of their rates on just a few years ago.

Chief Executive, Gwyn Rees, said community clubs have been used as a cash cow for far too long and the Government needs to stop squeezing them dry.

“The latest announcements in the ACT budget outline further increases for community clubs well above indexing and come at a time when clubs are being told, indeed forced, to diversify from gaming revenue,” he said.

Clubs, particularly small and medium clubs, are already suffering financially.  And even some larger ones have recorded losses for the first time in their history.

“Most Australian jurisdictions acknowledge the importance of the assets clubs maintain like golf courses, lawn bowls greens and football fields and offer assistance but in the ACT we have many charges well above those found in NSW or other states,

“Too often now we hear the Government say clubs need to diversify, but they continue to ignore the burden they impose on not-for-profit community clubs.  No meaningful solutions have been presented nor have any Government decisions translated to meaningful change that will assist clubs to change their business models,

“Over the the last fours years, 10% of ACT clubs have closed, and this is as a direct result of an increasingly restrictive environment and escalating government taxes and charges,” Mr Rees concluded.

Although 46 recommendations gained bi-partisan support at last year’s Public Accounts Committee Inquiry, less than half have been agreed to by Government.

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