ATA Submission On The Effect Of Red Tape On the Sale Of Alcohol

The ATA in association with MyChoice Australia has prepared a detailed submission into the Commonwealth Senate's inquiry into the harmful effects of red tape and problematic taxation on the sale and supply of alcohol.

Federal and state governments have always tried to address the problems associated with alcohol by passing complex laws and regulations that ultimately hurt innocent consumers and businesses rather than those actually responsible for violence and other social evils. A pseudo-puritan attitude designed to favour some alcohol products over others has resulted in a convoluted, paradoxical and needlessly complex taxation and liquor license regime which has held back many of our great, passionate liquor entrepreneurs. These include craft brewers and spirit distillers whose products could be giving any beer or spirit maker in the world a run for their money.


Closer to home, the NSW Lockout laws have turned Sydney, once the envy of the world for its vibrant nightlife, into a ghost town. Casualties have included not only honest businesses (R.I.P Bar Century.. I’ll forever miss your sticky floors :’( ) but also local bands, DJs and artists struggling to find a platform to take their careers to the next level.

Australian alcohol regulations have hurt bottle shop owners, brewers, bar owners and customers. They account for a sizeable chunk of the $176 billion in economic output Australia loses every year due to red tape.

Which is why the ATA and MyChoice are proud and excited to present our submission and recommendations – to roll back the nanny state and to make the various liquor industries great again!

Recommendations include:

  • Reducing, flattening and indexing taxes on liquor licenses
  • Adopting a volumetric tax for alcoholic beverages whilst reducing alcohol taxes overall
  • Abolishing 10 pm or 11 pm closure times for bottle shops and allowing bottle shops to stay open just as long as liquor shops attached to bars
  • That state governments recognise RSA certificates obtained in other states and territories
  • Simplifying and streamlining the liquor licensing process by reducing the number of approvals needed, reducing and streamlining the number of license categories and launching a digital one-stop-shop for those looking to open a licensed establishment.


  • Legalising the sale of alcohol products at convenience stores and inside supermarkets, as occurs without incident in almost every other western country.


  • Adopting laws and regulations which target the underlying social attitudes and motives behind drunken violence rather than those which punish innocent drinkers


  • Repealing the NSW lockout laws and similar laws introduced elsewhere in the country.


You can view the ATA and MyChoice’s full submission here.

Satyajeet Marar is the Director of MyChoice Australia

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