The new Victorian government has significantly discounted liquor licence renewal fees.
The move, affecting 10,500 small businesses and community hubs, is part of a licencing revamp that includes automatic suspension at problem venues, and discounts for pubs and clubs with good records.
Under the previous Labor government, led by Steve Bracks and then John Brumby, fees rose steeply.
That government was also criticised for not supporting venues like sports club which were low risk when it came to alcohol-linked violence.
The Baillieu Liberal government has instead also cut fees for community clubs, clubs with gaming machines and cafes.
Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O’Brien told the Herald Sun “these sorts of clubs are the glue that holds the community together and government should be making it easier for people to get together and enjoy sport or do good works for the community.”
Venues with no infringements for three years will be rated five stars under the government’s new reward system, and be charged the lowest fees.
The government will rank venues and issue points for offences related to the presence and service of minors or drunk and disorderly behaviour.
When a venue has three points it will receive immediate licence suspension of 24 hours, 7 days or 28 days, with no appeal possible.