South Perth’s Windsor Hotel gets McGowan’s tick of approval over free pint for a jab’ promo

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Sarah StegerThe West Australian
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Premier Mark McGowan says he’ll have a pint after receiving his second jab.
Camera IconPremier Mark McGowan says he’ll have a pint after receiving his second jab. Credit: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

A South Perth pub’s offer to reward COVID-vaccinated patrons with a free beer has the “full support” of Premier Mark McGowan, despite concerns it encourages irresponsible drinking.

The Windsor Hotel has been spruiking its “Just Vaccinated” campaign on social media for the past two weeks, offering customers an Ogdens beer on the house on the day of their jab.

“Show us proof you’ve had your vaccine on the day and the beer's on us,” the pub told punters.

“Let's do the right thing and keep not only Perth but the world safe.”

Manager Max Fox-Andrews said it was the venue’s way of trying to help WA “rise above the pandemic”.

Mr McGowan said he would head to the iconic South Perth venue after receiving his second jab.

“This promotion sounds like a good natured effort to encourage Western Australians to get vaccinated,” he said.

Bar tender Zoe Hopkinson is ready to serve pints to the vaccinated at The Windsor.
Camera IconBar tender Zoe Hopkinson is ready to serve pints to the vaccinated at The Windsor. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

“Any reasonable effort to encourage Western Australians to roll up their sleeves and get the jab is of course a good thing.

“If the Windsor Hotel is offering vaccinated patrons a pint for doing the right thing then good on them and they have my full support.”

But the promotion attracted the attention of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries which contacted the heritage-listed pub to ask it to consider whether “this practice encourages the irresponsible consumption of liquor or portray the consumption of liquor in an inappropriate way”.

It follows a similar promotion by Melbourne’s Prince Alfred Hotel.

Earlier this month the pub was told by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to pull its campaign due to regulations which banned offers of alcohol as incentives to get vaccinated.

While it is legal to offer rewards to people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID, the TGA website states that these offers must comply with certain conditions “such as not offering alcohol, tobacco or registered medicines”.

However after the intervention of the Prime Minister who threw his support behind the initiative, the Melbourne promotion was allowed to continue earlier this month.

“This is a national interest vaccine program and we will be making some changes to ensure that these good-hearted, good-natured initiatives (can continue),” Scott Morrison said at the time.

He said while those rules were there for important reasons — “so drug companies can't offer drugs and cigarettes to people to buy their prescription drugs”, the national interest right now was to get vaccinated.

“So to the PA (Prince Alfred) down there in Melbourne, good on you … cheers to the PA,” he said on July 9.

Mr Fox-Andrews yesterday said The Windsor’s promotion had been inspired by the Melbourne pub.

“That’s where the idea came from. We saw them doing it and thought it was a great way to do our bit,” he said.

“We're trying to do the right thing during what I would call these unprecedented times and also following the lead of Scott Morrison.”

He denied the promotion was encouraging the misuse of alcohol, saying it was doing more good than damage.

“We’re promoting the vaccine by encouraging more people to get it,” he said.

“But we’re also not saying you have to get the vaccine. We’re just saying if you do get it, come here and get a free beer.”

The publican admitted the management team had received mix responses from the public since announcing the campaign, but that any negative feedback had come from anti-vaxxers.

“So many think it’s great. We’ve had people come in with smiles after their jab, it’s been really positive for the most part,” Mr Fox-Andrews said.

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