Supporting Remote Pubs
A few weeks ago, the Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki and I toured a number of Western Queensland pubs, talking with them about the Liquor (Rural Hotels Concession) Amendment Bill and how it could benefit pubs out west.
While Western Queensland is struggling through seven years of unending drought, small pubs in towns like Blackall, Isisford and Yaraka are paying upwards of $3,600 a year for their commercial hotel licence.
Amazingly, the Yaraka Hotel, with a population of 12 and a total catchment of just 117 people, pays the same amount for their licence as the Breakfast Creek Hotel in Brisbane, with a population of over two million.
It’s despicable to think that the State Government would be stalling on this bill, which will directly benefit pubs throughout rural Queensland that are already struggling from a number of issues
Rural pubs are more than a place to have a beer – they are the community meeting place, the local restaurant, the first destination for tourists and a vital part of any local community.
The proposed changes would affect around 110 rural pubs, with a loss of around $300,000 in State government revenue.
When the Government can find $17.3 million for a new bike track in South Brisbane, surely they can afford to support these rural pubs at a cost of less than two percent of the bike track.
Channel 7’s telethon for the QCWA Drought Appeal was based at the Stockman’s Hall of Fame last Sunday, with viewers around Queensland seeing the devastation that this drought has had on western Queensland.
The Appeal has so far raised over $2.4 million, with numerous charities raising funds to support drought-affected communities throughout Queensland and New South Wales.
I’d like to pay a special mention to the committee of the Western Queensland Drought Appeal. Since 2015, the WQDA has distributed over $1 million in pre-paid debit cards to farmers and graziers throughout 18 Western Queensland shires. The cards can only be spent in the local communities, meaning that the money helps support not only the farming families, but the local small businesses who struggle just as much.
Thank you to everyone in the community that works to help others during these tough times.
Blackall B-150 Celebrations
The town of Blackall was abuzz last week during their 150th anniversary celebrations.
I was in Blackall on the Tuesday, for the first sheep sale in 20 years and the first bull sale in the recently built yards.
It was fantastic to see the town full of locals, tourists and people coming back to visit.
Congratulations to Mayor Andrew Martin and the entire Blackall-Tambo Regional Council team for putting on a great week.