The decision was widely criticised for targeting small entertainment venues where it was unlikely the community would protest. It also defied the government’s own research showing no link between the venues and alcohol-related harm.
Liquor licensing director Sue Maclellan issued 20 venues the $30,000 fee regardless of whether they were profitable, large city-based complexes, or small suburban venues, like The Spotty.
Other small pub venues affected by the fee include the Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club and the Hustler Club Maxine Fensom, whose annual licence fee increased from $309.
The Spotswood hotel has been purchased by another hotelier, and will reopen as a restaurant, according to John Castran of selling agency John H Castran. The sale price was $2.335 million.