Something a bit different today.
New laws in the ACT have gobsmacked me with their sheer discrimination. A few years ago smoking was banned in clubs and restaurants; a move that I fully agreed with. To cater for the patrons who smoke every club and most restaurants here collectively spent millions setting up comfortable outdoor areas. My local club opened up an area that included seating, heating, shrubbery and two large TVs; one for the races and on tuned into major sporting events.
I enjoy sitting out there with my friends while I sip on a coffee and puff on the occasional cigar. It’s the meeting point for my circle of friends. It’s the centre of our social life.
After the commitment from the new Federal Government that limits will be placed on how much a person can gamble on pokies each day, our Chief Minister, John Stanhope had a real hissy fit at how this will affect sporting revenue in the ACT, as most of the gaming clubs are sports clubs. No thought whatsoever of the social good that the initiative might produce. The clubs need the money and we don’t give a damn how many people’s lives are destroyed in helping them to achieve their greedy goal. My club, incidentally, made $30M last year, and you’d think that our Chief Minister would be satisfied that our club is making good money and will still do after pokie restrictions come into affect.
Now here’s some sheer hypocrisy to go along with the previously announced discrimination. As of yesterday you may smoke in the outdoor area but you are prohibited from drinking and smoking at the same time. You are prohibited from taking any food or drink into the smoking area. At our club the two large TVs have been removed because smokers are now prohibited from having any entertainment. A wall is to be erected as smokers are not allowed to watch the golf from the smoking area, as watching live golf is considered entertainment.
Smoking is still legal, so these laws seem rather draconian.
The clubs and restaurants are very concerned at the potential downturn in profits. John Stanhope doesn’t appear to be, despite his concerns about pokie restrictions.
Up until last year Melbourne Cup was a public holiday in the ACT, but after some lobbying from city eateries that they were missing out on Cup Day trade, the holiday was shifted.
I’m wondering if the drop in income from the clubs and restaurants following the new smoking laws will also see them ganging up on the government.
I’ve had my rant. Hopefully one of our visitors can provide us with something a bit more entertaining than the best I can come up with today. I’ll be gone for most of the day, being forced against my will to attend a Christmas dinner, so I’ll catch up with everybody later tonight.