ACT Government Fees Hit Oktoberfest

By on October 7, 2016

This year’s Oktoberfest Canberra – from 28 to 30 October – will be the biggest ever, but it will be the last to be held at EPIC due to rapidly increasing ACT Government charges.

With Government fees rising from $6,000 in 2011 to an estimated $41,500 this year, the Harmonie German Club is exploring alternative venues for 2017 and beyond, including across the border in Queanbeyan.

“The Harmonie German Club has brought Oktoberfest fun to Canberra since the 1960s, without any government support,” Club President Kevin Bramboeck said today.

“Oktoberfest contributes more than $120,000 each year to ACT businesses and charities, and our volunteers donate more than 500 hours of labour.

“These volunteer-run fundraisers enable the Club to keep doing its work to promote German culture in Canberra and support a wide range of community and sporting groups.

“It is disappointing that the ACT Government and ACT Policing seem determined to tax community events like Oktoberfest out of existence.

“The ACT Government says it wants clubs to move away from relying on poker machines for revenue, but then it hits us with ever-increasing fees and charges when we try to raise money in other ways.

“We want to reassure the ACT community, and our interstate visitors, that Oktoberfest Canberra will continue, just at another venue.

“And we encourage all Canberrans and visitors to come along to Oktoberfest Canberra 2016, from October 28-30, to say goodbye to EPIC – and to have a fantastic party.” Mr Bramboeck said.

Due to rises in rates over the last 4 years, 10% of ACT Clubs have been forced to close.  This is a direct result of the Chief Minister Andrew Barr and ACT Labor’s actions.

These decisions have increased operating costs by imposing unsustainable taxes and levies on our not for profit clubs.

  • Rate Increases – UP over 300% in four years for some clubs.  One small club has seen their rates rise from $14,000 in 2012 to $55,000 currently. 
  • Liquor fee increases– UP and now the most expensive in Australia.  $5186 (ACT) vs $510 (NSW) until midnight
  • Tap water costs– UP by over 400% and double the price of Sydney Water.
  • Gaming tax increases– UP twice in ten years for large clubs and despite declining revenue.

Don’t let ACT Labor and the Greens destroy your Club!

For more information and to buy your tickets for Oktoberfest:

Details about the Harmonie German Club are available at