In the past the IPA have been critical of a series of paternalistic decisions made by the City of Port Phillip council, including fining people for demolishing their own homes, wasting scarce ratepayer funds on creepy smiling campaigns, and supporting woolly schemes to fund dog biscuits.
As much as we’ve been critical of the overzealous nannyism and spending waste in one of Melbourne’s epicentres of paternalism, we will also give credit where it is due.
Recently, the council has allowed traders to decide, for themselves, whether outdoor patrons in their footpath cafe zones get to smoke or not.
Naturally, the health lobby is up in arms about this proposal. On the other hand, traders had noted that imposing a smoking ban to all outdoor areas would harm trade.
So, for just this one occasion, a cheer should be extended for a sensible decision, in which property rights are respected and unnecessary local government interference is butted out.