Burnett pubs welcome deferral in gaming tax
NORTH Burnett pubs have welcomed the deferral of gaming taxes ordinarily enforced by the State Government yearly.
The deferral was due to expire on July 10, but Queensland pubs have been given an extension until 2021 due to the coronavirus.
Mundubbera Royal Hotel manager Gerry Byrne said he's hoping the deferral will make a difference to the business since the pokies haven't been operational until this month.
"I'm hoping it'll make a bit of a difference since we've only opened up to the public properly in the last couple weeks," he said.
"Any type of rebate or deferral will definitely help for sure."
Pubs in the region have been operating under strict guidelines in order to continue serving patrons.
Many were forced to sell takeaway grog to stay afloat, but are now reaping the rewards with restrictions easing.
Mr Byrne said the pub had a modest opening weekend, recording between 20-40 people a day from Friday to Sunday.
"I think a few people have been treating it as a bit of a novelty coming back to the pub, that's why we saw an increase," Mr Byrne said.
"We haven't got meals going yet due to our chef retiring, but we've been serving people, and abiding by the precautions."
The pub manager and his staff have been constantly sanitising tables, the bar, and the pokies after they opened on July 3.
"Everyone's been abiding by the rules, but it all has been pretty time consuming getting everything up above board," he said.
"It can be hard at times since after a few beers everyone just starts walking around, and we have to remind patrons about the rules.
"Either way, the locals are back into the swing of things."
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said like other economies around the world, Queensland was dealing with the impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic.
"This extra deferral will help improve cashflow for pubs and clubs emerging from coronavirus restrictions and better protect the jobs of hospitality workers," Mrs D'Ath said.
"Our existing deferral for March 2020 gaming taxes, which was due to expire on July 10, has now been extended until 2021.
"This represents almost $50 million in deferrals for Queensland pubs and clubs for the period when they were hardest hit by coronavirus."
Repayments for gaming taxes incurred in March 2020 will now be repaid in three equal instalments in February 2021, April 2021 and June 2021.
This comes on top of the $22.7 million the State Government has already waived in liquor licensing renewal fees for 2020/21.