Johno's Blues Bar is a live music icon in Cairns. Johno's Blues Bar hosts live music seven nights a week and attracts acts and punters from all over the world.

However, the future of the club is uncertain because two factors affect the viability of the club:

1. Smoking ban introduced 1 July 2006
2. Reduction to trading hours to midnight every night

This petition addresses the former issue: the smoking ban. The second issue is addressed in another petition on this web site.

On the 1st of July the Queensland government introduced a total smoking ban in pubs, clubs and nightclubs. Until the 1st of July, Johno's was thriving. But since most customers are 35+ and most of those people are smokers, Johno's has lost an important part of their business - almost 50%.

A major factor in the demise is that premises with general (hotel) licences have been granted exemptions from the law and are therefore allowed to have combined drinking and smoking areas. This is why everywhere in town outdoor smoking and drinking has become a big thing and some venues are thriving (have a look at the Barrier Reef Hotel, The Grand, PJ O'Briens, The Crown Hotel, etc etc) since the smoking ban.

Premises with Cabaret licences such as Johno's on the other hand, are not allowed to have such combined drinking and smoking areas. When asked, the government provided the following explanation for the difference in treatment between pubs and nightclubs:

1. The type of entertainment Johno's (and other cabarets) provides
2. Due to the nightclub nature it attracts young people and those are the ones who should be discouraged most from smoking

In our view, this is discriminatory and hurting the nightclub industry. For a start, Johno's provides live music, like many general licensed premises do. Second, Johno's typically attracts baby boomers and the like and not the 'young kids' at all. Moreover, the biggest teeny-bopper place in town (Gilligan's) has in fact a general license and therefore a huge smoking and drinking area at the back where all the kids can continue their habits undisturbed. Johno's' customers however, had to find another hang to be able to do what they want when they go out: drink and smoke at the same time.

In addition, cigarette reps have informed us that cigarette sales are nearly back to normal in Cairns (their explanation is the increase in smoking areas at pubs all over town).

Also, live music in general has been hurt all over the state due to the reduction of income for many venues. The first costs that venues cut back on is live entertainment.

In order for Johno's to keep business viable and to continue to provide live entertainment to the locals and visitors, Johno's needs at least equal treatment to the surrounding pubs, and be given a combined smoking and drinking area like all the pubs in town.

We, the undersigned, ask for the government to review the smoking laws and grant Johno's Blues Bar permission to set up a combined smoking and drinking area.

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The Combined smoking and drinking area for Johno's Blues Bar petition to Government was written by Lyn and is in the category Government at GoPetition.

Petition Tags

music live smoking blues johnos bar