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Tue, 22 Apr 2003

On Australia, Good Friday and purchase of alcohol

Being the nice Christian country that it is Easter is something of a deal here. This means public holidays, days of work and oddness of shop opening hours. All this is fine although the shutness of shops here on Good Friday is extreme: much more is shut on Good Friday than Easter Sunday. The policy relating to alcohol sales on Good Friday though is just perverse. In New South Wales, and I can't vouch for any other state here, if you want to go to a public house and consume alcohol in public you are allowed to do so. If, on the other hand, you wish to buy some alcohol and take it home, or indeed anywhere other than a public house, you cannot. This is the law.

Now I can understand, if not sympathise, with the idea that consumption of alcohol on such an important day in the Christian calendar is to be discouraged. That it is to be discouraged only outwith the confines of pubs is just bizarre. Is there a tacit assumption that the weight of public opprobrium will mean those frequenting the many fine pubs and bars of New South Wales will confine themselves to fruit juice and lemonade? Or is it that drinking in a pub is more acceptable than, say, buying a bottle of wine to have over dinner with a few friends?

Regardless it seems to be a particularly arbitrary line to draw. But then so is the one drawn between drinking at half past 10 at night and half past 11.

posted at: 00:00 #

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