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Aroma's coffee magic. Lisa Williams

Public holiday surcharge law to change

THE prices Australians pay at cafes and restaurants on public holidays or Sundays could soon change, with the Federal Government releasing amendments to Australia's consumer laws for public comment.

Cafes and restaurants often add small surcharges to cover extra costs, such as employing people on weekends and public holidays - charges which are often displayed on the menu, as part of the total cost of a meal or service.

Those laws could soon changes, with Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury on Wednesday releasing an "exposure draft" of a minor change to the Consumer Law Act.

The changes could reduce the burden of the laws on restaurateurs and cafe owners and managers, but still ensure diners are kept aware of any extra surcharges on their meals.

Mr Bradbury said the government recognised consumers should be clearly informed about the true cost of surcharges before they head to the cash register.

The exposure draft amendments are available at: www.treasury.gov.au/ConsultationsandReviews/Submissions/2012/Restaurant-and-cafe-menu-surcharges.

The public and hospitality sector have until Friday, January 18, to comment on the changes.


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