A Melbourne wine retailer has claimed it is being charged the same liquor licence fees as a nightclub.
Swords Select has wine stores at the Queen Victoria, South Melbourne and Prahran markets.
It opens the stores before 9:00am as part of its lease agreement.
However the extended trading hours means the business is classified as a ‘high risk’ venue, under the state’s licensing system.
Company spokeswoman, Georgia Beattie, says their fees have increased six fold this year.
“It is grossly unfair that John Brumby has put our small retail business in the high risk category, the same as a King Street nightclub,” she said.
“This has cost our business a total of $9,540.”
The Consumer Affairs Minister, Tony Robinson, says he is aware of the concerns.
“We do appreciate that they find themselves in a very unusual situation,” he said.
“We have met with Swords and will continue to meet and discuss with them to see whether there’s the possibility exists of revising that licence category to provide a fairer deal.”