A Melbourne mother has spoken out after she and her infant baby were told to leave a city bowling alley because the venue was serving alcohol.
Marion Falla wanted to catch up with friends and thought Strike Bowling would be a better place to take her infant daughter than the pub.
“We could have taken her to the pub, ironically that would have been legal, but I thought a less suitable environment to have a three-month-old baby in,” she said.
So the new mum and her family joined a group of friends at the bowling alley in central Melbourne on Friday night.
But the fun lasted just half an hour after the group was evicted under liquor licensing laws when the venue started serving alcohol at 8pm.
“The reason for the law being in existence is to prevent minors from purchasing alcohol,” Mrs Falla said.
“Clearly there’s no chance a three-month-old would be drinking anything other than milk.”
Strike Bowling bans anyone under 18 from the premises once the bar opens, which is designed “to offer a protected and safe experience”, according to company policy.
But women’s advocates have hit back, claiming the policy isolates young families.
“It’s hard to get out with a baby and we need women out and about with their friends,” Australian Breastfeeding Association spokesperson Rebecca Naylor said.
Mrs Falla said she decided against making a formal complaint, but lawyers say she’d have a strong case.
“Commonsense would dictate that the area where the bowling was taking place, Mrs Falla had a right to be there with her family,” Stuart LeGrand from Shine Lawyers said.
“If she was in a venue where the nightclub was taking place, there might be exceptions to that.”
Strike Bowling did refund the family’s game and has invited them back to bowl free of charge.