No chance in Queensland to win a country pub

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto and Ashton Hotel owner Doug Senior.

A HINCHINBROOK publican’s innovative idea to hold a raffle-like promotional sale of his local watering hole has been knocked back by the State Government due to bureaucratic red tape.

Ashton Hotel owner Doug Senior has been fighting to have his proposal rubber stamped by the Office of Liquor and Gaming, which would involve the sale of 9000 $60 tickets with the winner taking ownership of the pub and $40,000 to start off. The pub and a smaller cash prize would be awarded should less than 9000 tickets be sold with the reserve set at 80 per cent of tickets sold.

“We’re trying to give people an opportunity they wouldn’t normally have. A lot of people can’t just walk in with cash to buy a hotel,” Mr Senior said.

“For $60, they’re getting real value with accommodation and a meal. That gives them entry into the competition so potentially, they could win the hotel for $60 under our proposal.”

Mr Senior said the hotel’s current market value was between $380,000 and $400,000.

Situated at Long Pocket on the way to Abergowrie, the Ashton is a popular stop for locals and visitors alike.

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said Mr Senior’s proposal was exactly the kind of enterprising approach that should be encouraged by the State government as Queensland emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Just because it hasn’t been done in Queensland before, doesn’t mean the government shouldn’t allow this to happen,” Mr Dametto said.

“We should be looking at innovative ways like Doug’s proposal to help boost our local economy.

“Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to own a pub? The Ashton is as picturesque as it is iconic. It’s a beautiful spot and I’m really excited about Doug’s proposal.”

Mr Dametto said he would write to Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath asking her to review the current rules surrounding promotional sales so “creative ideas like Doug’s aren’t put in the too hard basket”.

“If Doug was in another part of Australia, he would be able to hold the sale,” Mr Dametto said.

“He’s done a really good job to put this proposal together and now we’re just asking the Office of Liquor and Gaming to jump on board.”

Mr Senior said there was strong interest from locals surrounding his proposal.

“Everyone’s that keen on getting onboard and doing it,” he said.

“What we want to do is something fresh. Aren’t we allowed to try new things in Queensland? It could be an opportunity for other business owners to do the same thing.”

Ashton Hotel owner Doug Senior.

Nick Dametto MP