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No escaping the kids - ever

February 12, 2009

Do adults have the right to 'adults-only' services. One might argue the legislation discriminates against the business owner, or does it serve the common good.

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February 18, 200906:06 AM
In the US we have a family friendly chain of pizza restaurants called "Chuck E. Cheeze". Every couple months a story crops up about huge fights breaking out at this "family friendly" establishment. Adult oriented establishments that have this much violence get shut down, and yet CEC's all over the US remain open, because they're "family friendly". AND this is why I think it is imperative to allow spaces for ADULTS ONLY. Personally, I do not find fights and screaming relaxing. I don't want to have to deal with some woman going all Momma Bear because someone looked at her rotten kid sidewise while I'm enjoying some quality ADULT time. Anonymous

February 17, 200908:26 AM
The issue is the behavior, not the age or skin color.
What about truthfulness in advertising (no playgrounds, no child facilities), and making it clear what is expected as far as behavior (no loud or disruptive talking, no running, no peeing in the pool). Make it clear that if any of these rules are broken, the group (family) will be asked to leave, no refunds, and allowing for lawsuits in cases of severe breaches (putting hands in and ruining $500 worth of food on a buffet, cost of cleaning the pool, damage to slammed doors), for which the PARENTS would be financially responsible for paying if the children were underage?
These same rules would apply to anyone else, so the same rules could be used to evict unruly drunks. They would not penalize those who have truly well-behaved children. It also could lay down the expectations of society regarding children.
Othello Cat

February 16, 200903:32 PM
Turnaround claims "Incidentally, Commonwealth law is the same, so even if people want to change WA legislation, it would still be unlawful."

Not quite, Turnaround. Commomwealth Law applies in certain circumstances as prescribed under s51 of the Constitution. Commonwealth laws do not automatically overside state laws.

February 16, 200912:49 PM
The demand for "adult only" places has been driven by lazy, inept parents bringing their horribly-behaved kids into places I certainly never went as a kid. Kids are excluded because of the way they behave, not some inate quality like skin colour. If they were taught to behave there would not be a problem. No one would object to quiet, respectful kids. Remember those?

February 16, 200908:33 AM
It is only those with badly behaved children who endlessly take their children to adult venues. I would like to see more adult only venues all over the world. I am in the U.S. and too many of our modern crop of "mothers" love to harass others with their brats as their entertainment. That apparently is what this U.S. lawyer was up to as well.
Othello Cat

February 16, 200908:11 AM
Brian, this matter is not the thin edge of the wedge. Children are not allowed in bars,pubs, clubs and casinos. Besides, unlike being a certain race, religion or sex, children do not remain children forever. Auman is right. That lawyer was a mischeif maker and clearly one of those breeder-not-parents who seems to think that she can foist her sticky offspring on everyone else and they must grudgingly welcome them and not complain no matter how much they shreik or misbehave. Come to think of it, that was more thn "mischeif". That lawyer -- if it is true she was targeting adults-only resorts and demanding freebies or threating to sue -- is an EXTORTIONIST.

February 15, 200911:56 AM

if this was the only crazy law in wa it might not be so bad, but 'politically correct' has gone to extremes and denmark has more than its quota of such ppl. y not have a situation where an area can only have 'restrictive' accommodation etc once 'non-restrictive' is established [as it is in most places], then we all have choices.

im really sick and tired of others telling me what to do/not do and how to live my life when it doesnt affect others. there is no evidence that these 'do-gooders', politicians and priests etc are any better ppl or better off than others, so they have no moral right to push us around. i dont interfere with their lives and i OBJECT to them interfering in mine - even if its sth i dont want to do, its the principle. mum_of_five_boys

February 15, 200911:45 AM

what an absolutely ridiculous LAW.. as a mother of six.. ranging in age from 3 - 25.. and grandmother to 3.. the choice to get away to an ADULTS ONLY retreat.. hotel or the like is a necessity.. no.. I think it is a RIGHT.. I don't have a problem going to family friendly places with my kids.. but we all need time out ocassionally.. it helps us totally relax.. recharge.. enabling us to parent better.. it also nourishes our intimate relationships.. strengthening the family pillars and should be encouraged rather than prohibited.. Ioan

February 15, 200911:27 AM

I am sick and tired of the childed dragging their children EVERYWHERE! It seems as if they are the only ones with rights these days. It is they on whom the onus should be and they should be the ones who should make separate arrangements since they CHOOSE to have children.

We who have made different choices in life have rights, too. Stu

February 15, 200909:27 AM

As a solution, why not allow children but discourage parents from bringing them by charging extra large tarrifs for them. For example, $150 a night for adults and $350 a night for under 18s. That should solve the problem, as I don't believe the P.C. Police could find fault with that. Walter

February 15, 200909:06 AM

So when an legitimate case for an exemption comes before the tribunal it gets knocked on the head yet hundreds of women-only gyms/venues pop up in every suburb each year? I'm not saying that women shouldn't have their own venues, they should. The point is that one isn't less legitimate than the other. Willzter

February 14, 200902:40 PM

I feel a great sense of dismay whenever I read about the nanny-state enforcing yet more of its absurd rulings onto us. Really, can't they get out of our lives and let us make simple decisions concerning how and what we do? kr

February 14, 200912:20 PM

As a parent of 2 I think this ruling is ridiculous. When we go on a family holiday we pick a family friendly resort. If we go to the city, we pick a family friendly up market hotel. When hubby & I want a quiet weekend together we pick an upmarket kid-free hotel. Accommodation providers should be able to cater to specific tastes and create an atmosphere relating to the clients they are trying to target. What about things like Kontiki tours that only cater for 18-35's? Possie

February 14, 200910:39 AM

I am off to check the exact wording of the law to see if I can now demand that, as a childless couple with dogs, we can now subject our will onto all sorts of businesses and even the state government (re being allowed into national parks with dogs) to be allowed access with our dogs in tow! :-)


February 14, 200909:33 AM

If a business owner wishes to offer accomadation to adults only and doesn't want kids there , surely that is there choice to do so ? As a father of two young kids, if you ring such a busines and are told children are not welcome , thats fine,you go somewhere else . Deborah

February 14, 200907:44 AM

About once a year, the hubby and I go away. Alone. Together. The 3 angels are sent for quality time with grandparents. But often, we spend our time grimacing through the screams of O.P.C - Other People's Children. I understand that sometimes there may be a need to take your children to an upmarket hotel, but some parents seem to think that you find their children as charming as they do, and surely don't mind their hands in the buffet breakfast, or are humoured by their pushing all the buttons in the lift. Unfortunately the parents who treat their children as little deities are to blame. We have all experienced OPC getting on our nerves, so why shouldn't we be allowed respite from them? I suggest that the judge who made this decision should go and spend some time in a daycare centre, or a kindy and then see how 'relaxed' she feels. Not much huh? Well, why would we pay to stay at a top-notch hotel and risk having OPC spoil the experience?? Silly silly decision. My sympathy to the hotel owners. Just another example of PC insanity - Jeremy Clarkson for PM! GM

February 14, 200906:28 AM

This is so wrong. Don't we as single childless people have right either. If I holiday I don't really want screaming kids to annoy or disrupt my quiet time holidaying. It seems quiet time for adults must be against the law these days according to our legal system or is it just bigotry that run our state and legal system.


February 14, 200902:25 AM

Why are parents so determined to inflict their precious little off spring onto all and sundry. Especially at an establishment where adults would go to relax. Being around rowdy, boisterous children is in no way relaxing, especially for those of us who don't have children and are not used to having them around us. If only they would introduce kid free flights... CF

February 14, 200901:35 AM

I would gladly pay more for a resort with adult only services which would not cater to children. I don't want to hear them squealing, crying, whining. If I pay good money for calm, that's what I want. There are so many services and resorts for parents. Can't the childfree people have their own? Stubby

February 13, 200903:19 PM

To 'Turnaround' (below): Why can't people with kids go somewhere else? Why can you not see that this decision discriminates against people who do not want to spend their expensive holidays being annoyed by unruly children? As this decision so ably demonstrates, there is nothing 'equal' about 'equal opportunity' in Western Australia. Maree

February 13, 200902:08 PM

I think this is ridiculous. It is great for ALL people to be catered for and not just children. There are so many accommodation facilities around for families that would be suitable for 3 year old children. Why cannot adults have an "adults only" retreat? My husband and I have stayed at Chimes and the peace and quiet was wonderful. My children have grown up and I have spent my time in family accommodation so every now and then it is nice to be pampered with having to listen to children fighting or squealing and having parents chastise them. Everyone's needs to be catered for. Glint.Bladesong

February 13, 200901:41 PM

If an adult-only resort is illegal and discriminatory in the eyes of the law and male-only clubs are being told to open their doors to women, then why are female-only gyms allowed to operate? They are discriminating based on gender and that is illegal. Boy Scouts have been mentioned a few times, you can now have girls join the Boy Scouts and good on them, I'm all for it. But for some reason I believe the Girl Guides can still stop boys from joining their society. Why? If banning a person from a resort just because they are a under a certain age limit is illegal then how can you ban them from entering a pub, or a nightclub, since you are only banning them based on their age, which according to the ruling is illegal. Fair enough the idea of 'protection' comes into it and rightly so and a resort is surely a lot safer then a nightclub for children, but in that case what about the gym, what is so unsafe at a female-only gym that males cannot attend, handbags? What is so unsafe in Girl Guides that boys cannot join, dolly magazines? For the record I am in favour of female-only gyms (although I would like to see some male only gyms also), just I as am in favour of adult-only resorts and definitely age-limited night clubs. What I am not in favour of is stupid, hand holding, idiotic interpretations of the law and beige cardigan wearing busy bodies sticking their noses into any place they think they can cause trouble (rather like my cat, although he has better taste - he doesn't wear cardigans). Lou

February 13, 200901:33 PM

Why on earth would a parent want to take their child to a resort where they were not welcome or catered for? Surely a three year old child would be happier in a family resort with other kids to play with and activities to do. I suspect this is more the case of a smart alec lawyer trying to get freebie holidays by threatening to sue the resorts. I have kids but I recognise that there should be adult only resorts that cater for the people who dont want to holiday with other peoples children. observer

February 13, 200912:59 PM

Personally I can't see a difference between adult only resorts and women only gyms. Oh that's right in gyms women are seen as the minority that needs protection and in these resorts, children are the minority that need to be protected. Anonymous

February 13, 200912:41 PM

its her bloody business she can do whatever the hell she wants. ms

February 13, 200912:26 PM

Its sad/ a worry the way the world is going. I think its almost the same as the poeple that are complaining about the Mens only club in perth for lawyers etc. people need to learn when to except that yes there is a diffrance between Adults and kids and no they can't always be classed as the same. Nokids4me

February 13, 200912:11 PM

There are other ways to get rid of the annoying little parasites. Like get the entire place licenced as a bar / casino, operate some form of 18+ adult entertainment, or simply price them out of existence ($5000 a head, plus extra for a half serve of fish fingers) And i can believe it was some yank lawyer who came to this country trying to pick a fight with as many resorts as she can to get a free holiday and ruin peoples lives. The reason i never go on holidays to resorts any more is because my biggest nightmare is when i want to sleep in after a hard night with the missus and have to put up with some idiot parent repeatedly calling out the latest designer baby name because they are too PC to smack the little bastard and stop them from whatever mischief they are up to. Djd

February 13, 200911:53 AM

I agree that the law in this case has been applied inappropriately. The resort targets a niche market and its physical environment and service offerings are designed with that in mind. The resort targets adults only because it provides adults with a place where they can enjoy the company of each other, be pampered, relax and enjoy peace and quiet. The interests and demands of adults are very different to those of children. This experience is what customers pay for. If that business is now being forced to allow children to stay, this undermines the core value proposition of that business and its ability to differentiate from competitors. In addition to losing customers from the adults/couples-only target market, presumably the owners would be expected to provide child-safe facilities, meals and services designed for children, in order to meet health and safety obligations and to mitigate potential litigation from families seeking refunds because the resort did not meet their expectations as a family with children. Costs could force the business out of business. I think it is dangerous to over-generalise by comparing the resort€s decision to target an adult market, to potentially discriminating against a race or religion. The resort€s business is designed to meet the lawful recreational needs of adults with a common interest, regardless of race or religion. The resort€s decision to promote itself as adults-only, was to advertise itself accurately and attract custom from its desired target market, bear in mind the majority of holiday resorts are family-oriented. The SAT decision is draconian, anti-competitive and discriminates against the needs of adults who want to holiday with other adults. If this absence of common sense continues in decision-making, businesses in our state will be doomed. Turnaround

February 13, 200911:41 AM

If people want to get away from a certain types of other other people - be it kids, asians, aborigines, middle easterners, well the onus should be on them. THEY can hire a free standing house or they can hire out the whole resort. This anti-discrimination law is both at the state and commonwealth level. Even if they changed it at the state level, it would still be illegal. The suggestions I am seeing - charging more, making people miserable if they bring kids, etc, are also all unlawful. Pip

February 13, 200910:31 AM

This whole thing is ridiculous. I have no problem with resorts designating themselves as adults only and advertising accordingly. I also have problem with resorts being 'child-friendly' and promoting that fact. People should be able to choose to stay at certain accomodation knowing children will not be there. Just as they can choose to stay at accommodation where they know children will be there - and perhaps take their own. There are plenty of lovely, flash places down south that parents can take their children to - Bunker Bay for one. Don't take the peaceful, relaxing, quiet retreats away from the adults who really want them - and are willing to pay a premium for the pleasure! Roon

February 13, 200910:09 AM

Easy solution. Just publish the accomodation price for 2 adults (say $200 per night for the 2 adults)and then have an extra cost per child (say $200 per night). This rate can by at a higher price which may scare some people away. Marcus

February 13, 200909:54 AM

Turnaround - is about appreciating the whole picture and making the right decision whilst considering the written law. Something which the SAT can't seem to grasp. Lawyers, Judges and Tribunal Adjudicators around the country seem to be out of touch with the comunity needs. Everyday there is a new example of this. It was within the SAT's power to make the ruling. Hathor

February 13, 200909:43 AM

We used to holiday at a place in Dunsborough that was purely adults only - and nobody ever complained about that. And it was great not to be at breakfast with someone's badly behaved child carrying on. If I want to do that now, I'll have breakfast with the granddaughter. I'm fed up with this child-orientated society where ALL parents now seem to think that everybody wants to spend time with THEIR children. It's exactly the same attitude as for mobile phones on buses and trains and in supermarkets - that your life is so important that surely everybody else should know your business. Well, you're not. And there are some things in this life (and having children is one of them) where you may have to curb YOUR wants and needs and think about what's appropriate for THEM and an adult retreat clearly is not. And shock, horror! there actually may be people out there who do not want to have their holiday with YOUR children. Stressed business owner

February 13, 200909:33 AM

We own a small business and to keep our business going we need to be able to get away from all noise and stress. Removing our places of rest is among the most stupid decisions I have heard. We are both suffering from stress related health issues which now will increase. Is the government determined to wipe out small business owners? What about the venues? The expense they have to incur to child proof their properties and their stress. Family friendly retreats abound. Leave us ours. Turnaround

February 13, 200909:08 AM

Marcus, Sat was merely applying the law. It did so correctly, in accordance with precedents in both WA and QLD. Incidentally, Commonwealth law is the same, so even if people want to change WA legislation, it would still be unlawful. Marcus

February 13, 200909:00 AM

The law is correct in protecting against age discrimination. When it was written it was designed to protect people applying for jobs who were in their late 40's and early 50's as employers were not employing them and this was causing a huge problem. In this instance the SAT has not appreciated the whole picture. It's not as if it's difficult to take your kids anywhere in WA. This decision will force those who wanted this facility overseas; therefore the local economy is worse off. The SAT seems to make quite a number of poor judgements that are not in the community interest. I think it's time for a review of the SAT. Turnaround

February 13, 200908:42 AM

auman, there is precednt for adult only resorts, true. But they are all breaking the law. They can be sued easily if one has a mind to it. Brian's points are very insightful. Over the last couple of days I have spoken to people about this and some would be delighted if there were "white only" resorts. Would readers here like that too? I bet some would. steve95775

February 13, 200907:46 AM

As an adult I discriminate against children every day. I drink alcohol, and watch R15 movies, All in situations where children are excluded, ie night clubs and movie theatres. I would be horrified if the Anti discrimination Act was interpreted in such a way as to allow some misguided parent to bring their child into these venues because the commercial interest of the operators, whilst understandable, was not sufficient reason to discriminate against children. And why can't I join the Boy Scouts, I'm only 50 and feel young at heart.. Brian

February 13, 200907:31 AM

This isn't as clear cut as it sounds at first. My initial reaction was "of course a hotel/resort should be allowed to advertise as adults only". If they want to risk not attracting the big family market by appealing only to those who don't want to see kids mucking about, they should be allowed to do so. But what happens if someone wants to extend the logic from "no kids" to "no Aborigines" or "no Asians". One could argue the same laws of market demand might apply - that a business wanting to restrict itself to those customers attracted to such a limitation should be allowed to do so. But then what about "no old people", "no women", "no people with disabilities", "no gays", "no Christians/Muslims etc". It becomes really uncomfortable. This isn't an easy issue - fundamentally I think businesses should be able to cater to certain target markets, but whether they should be able to issue a blanket ban on those who don't fit their ideal profile is another thing. Maybe a compromise is "bring your kids, but know that we don't cater for them. There's no playground, etc and for safety reasons they can't use the pool unless you personally supervise them." Put the onus on the parents to choose a destination that is best suited to their entire family and not their own selfish needs. auman

February 13, 200907:11 AM

I am disappointed by this decision not because I am an adult with no children but because laws are being manipulated by interest groups for (and in my humble opinion - mischief). We have women only health clubs, men only clubs (of which there are arguments to make them mixed but not if it is female only), events being held for families only, we have 18+ clubs, 21+ clubs, nightclubs, bars, cinemas that will not allow minors in. So why can 'we' not have a place just for adults. Australia does have them, Philip Island has one, and there are a few in NSW, QLD, even in SA so we do have precedent for them.