Alexandra Headland Surf Club general manager Ashley Robinson said COVID-19 rules which stop patrons ordering alcohol at the bar are inconsistent with those imposed on other businesses. FILE PHOTO
Alexandra Headland Surf Club general manager Ashley Robinson said COVID-19 rules which stop patrons ordering alcohol at the bar are inconsistent with those imposed on other businesses. FILE PHOTO

The $6000 bar fine threatening small businesses

A SURF Club manager and Sunshine Coast MP have blasted the State Government for threatening bars, pubs and restaurants with $6000 fines if they allowed patrons to order at the bar rather than through table service.

Alexandra Headland Surf Club general manager Ashley Robinson and Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson have called out the "inconsistencies" in the COVID rules, which allowed customers to order a coffee at the counter but not alcohol.

"Obviously health is a prime concern but the rules are inconsistent and add a lot of extra cost," Mr Robinson said.

"You can walk in and get a coffee at the counter but you can't order a beer."

Ms Simpson will visit the surf club today and demand Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk listen and act to change the requirement which she said had smashed local businesses already struggling after forced closures.

Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson and Alex Surf Club general manager Ashley Robinson.
Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson and Alex Surf Club general manager Ashley Robinson.

"This is stupid," Ms Simpson said.

"Customers at McDonalds and Bunnings go up to the counter to order or pay.

"Why should pubs, clubs and restaurants be any different when ordering a drink?

"This is adding an additional layer of cost to businesses which are already struggling after the closures and then restricted trading under COVID.

"How nuts is it that 30,000 people can march in Brisbane without social distancing and without reprimand but businesses like these are hit with threats of fines for allowing patrons to go up to the bar."

Ms Simpson, the Small Business Shadow Minister, has raised the issue in parliament and said it needed to be "fixed urgently".

She called for the same rules to apply as at other businesses where customers were just required to socially distance.

"For goodness sake, the inconsistencies are costly and not necessary," she said.


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