Australian Hotels Association (NSW) president, Scott Leach, says an ‘elitist moral minority’ is being allowed to dictate Government policy on alcohol and gaming.

Under the heading “Does the nanny state know best?” Leach made the following argument in the weekend edition of The Sydney Morning Herald.

”Those pushing the nanny state mentality firmly believe they know best. It's now seen as good politics to legislate to prevent people doing things to themselves, rather than giving them power over their own actions.

But is it the role of government to make decisions for people or should it instead educate people to make better decisions?

My industry – hospitality – which directly employs more than 75,000 people is increasingly frustrated with the dictatorial approach and the wowserism of those seeking to control our lives.

Take the story of an American tourist and her companions who visited our great city last year. They paid a visit to one of our hotels and sampled our vibrant nightlife.

Upon arrival, the woman was offended when she had to be scanned with a wand to detect weapons – due to a regulation. She went to the bar during a ‘time out’ and was forced to wait 10 minutes before being served – because of another regulation.

She then ordered six drinks for her group but was told she could only be served four – because of a regulation. She was further shocked to discover the drinks were served in plastic – another regulation. She couldn't even buy cigarettes without getting a token from the bar. Why? You guessed it – a regulation.

She couldn't believe there was so much control imposed on our entire adult population, and on unsuspecting visitors. Why do 99.99 per cent of people have to contend with restrictions because of the acts of 0.01 per cent of our population?

I am tired of the elitist moral minority who justify this because it creates statistical improvement. If I want to have a smoke, have a drink, eat fast food or play the pokies, why has it become the government's role to stop me?

Isn't that like reducing the road toll by taking all the cars off the road? We want a government that will build and light our roads to make them safer, not try to govern every individual car that uses them.

It is disappointing to me that the country I love has become overburdened by regulation and having a good time now seems like a crime. Freedoms are incrementally being lost. Beware where this will lead in the years ahead.”


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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1 Comment

  1. I 100% agree. I left Australia 12 years ago to move to HK. In the late 90s I heard how many regulations there were in Singapore and thought: “That would really annoy me”. Well guess what…Australia is now WORSE while Singapore has gone the other way. I notice the changes more than people that live there – I go back 2-3 times a year for work and holidays. Why can’t adults be left to make do with their own decisions and take full responsibility for raising their own children. If you think its bad now, imagine in another 12 years time…..can only order 1 drink at a time, smoking is banned within a 1km radius of another person, fast food is heavily taxed with warning lables….etc imagine the horror – people in the 80s lived free I miss those days now. I would love to move back to Australia one day but I have to be honest, this sort of thing really scares me.

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