Law changed to support grocery stores

  • Mark Mitchell

Changes in the law made to enable grocery stores to continue holding liquor licences to sell alcohol despite increases in tobacco taxes will take effect on 15 September 2017.

Associate Justice Minister Mark Mitchell says the changes were made because increases in tobacco excise tax meant some grocery stores’ main source of revenue changed from food to tobacco products, which resulted in these stores losing liquor licences.

Under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, to hold a liquor licence, a grocery store’s principal business must be the sale of food products.

“The increases in tobacco excise tax, which were designed to reduce smoking, were never intended to restrict grocery stores from selling alcohol.

“To address this unintended consequence, the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Regulations 2013 have been changed so the tobacco excise tax will be excluded from a grocery store’s annual sales revenue when determining whether the store can hold a liquor licence,” Mr Mitchell says.

“This is a practical step that supports small grocery businesses and maintains the intended policy that these stores are eligible to hold a liquor licence.”