Why the post-lockdown laws are flawed for many pubs
It's not time to "get on the beers" just yet for some Aussies.
Many pub owners say the new post-covid rules are "pointless" and there's serious concerns some hotels who have shut their doors may never reopen.
Under Victoria Premier "Dictator Dan" Andrews' latest announcement to scrap some hotel restrictions there's damn good reason many pub owners and customers are far from jumping for joy.
The Australian Hotels Association's Victoria president David Canny - who owns two pubs, the Montague Hotel in South Melbourne and Red Lion in Ballarat - said the rules don't make sense.
"I challenge the chief health officer Brett Sutton to go to Echuca and explain the rules to pubs there and why these same rules don't apply across the river in Moama," he said.
In NSW from July 1 the 50-person limit on indoor venues will be lifted.
The Victorian rule changes that start from Monday, June 22, need to be unpacked because they're going to continue to badly hurt the publican trade, according to publicans.
Firstly, vertical drinking is still banned.
How ridiculous - what's wrong with standing up and perching yourself at the bar while downing a frothy?
This ridiculous rule that patrons must hook into a meal while downing a drink was plain bloody stupid when it was first introduced during the gradual easing of lockdown rules.
Being treated like children who must quietly sit down, keep to themselves and make sure they line their stomachs before quenching their hard-earned thirst has hurt pub owners.
Some people love to pop into their local for a few drinks after work and don't always order a meal during their visit.
But under Dictator Dan's stringent rules, drinking minus food was banned.
This held back many pubs from getting their regulars in each day to sit at the bar, sink a few pots and then head off.
If pubs don't have meals on offer they simply could not open.
The Premier should know full well that not all pubs have the luxury of having a kitchen armed with staff members, some simply act as a watering hole minus fancy meals.
But now under a new rule announced on Sunday Victorian pubs can seat up to 50 patrons - up from 20 - from next week.
But there's good reason many pubs owners have reason to complain about this too.
The ridiculous one-person-per-4sq-metre rule applies to enclosed spaces.
This means for a pub to be at capacity with 50 patrons they will need a 200sq m space.
What pubs - particularly those in the bush - have this vast amount of space to cater for so few clientele?
This means pubs will be stuck between a rock and hard place with the one-person-per-4sq metre rule still in full force.
And that's not to mention this is the rule that applies in the same state that allowed 10,000 protesters to congregate in their masses just over a week ago for the Black Lives Matter protest, throwing out social distancing rules altogether.
Mr Canny suggested introducing a one-person-per-2sq-metre rule instead to help get more patrons through the front doors.
Whoever made up these rules clearly doesn't run a pub themselves and wouldn't have a clue how to.
That's been one of the most glaring problems throughout this whole crisis - rules made by paper shufflers who receive their pay cheques courtesy of the taxpayer.
Their livelihoods are not at stake here, they're still getting their regular incomes but can dictate to hardworking and honest business owners about what they can and cannot do.
Why don't we allow these pubs to allow people to socially distance at say a more reasonable square metreage and stop the harm to these businesses immediately?
I'll cheers to that.
Originally published as Why the post-lockdown laws are flawed for many pubs