Victorian Premier Brumby has acted swiftly to be on the so-called front foot over late night violence. The 2am lock for 75% of Melbourne’s vibrant venues has opened up a slimy can of worms. Brumby has allowed 112 license holders an exemption. Such a protection of privilege has enriched those lucky few by many thousands of dollars in the revenue these late night hours, reduced competition and types of gigs will enable. This revenue capacity will be capitalised into greater license value. Will the government increase the licensing fee on these new special licenses?
Particularly concerning is that the King St strip club district and its devious cousin, Crown Casino, were amongst the first to be exempted. Much of the violence surrounds these late night zones and should have been the most closely monitored. Instead, the law has been turned around to enrich those abetting the problem. Melbourne is renowned for its small boutique bars. Unfortunately these will be the licence holders who suffer most, whilst the big commercial, culturally devoid late night venues found in any capital city will benefit immensely.