It’s not quite a scene from Cheers, but yesterday the Business Council of Australia opened a new front in its war on company taxes, this time roping in a young bartender concerned about her job without trickle-down economics. “I’m worried there will be fewer job opportunities around here because of high company tax,” the tweet quoted. Because, let’s be honest, what young bar worker hasn’t at some point mused on the effects of onerous company tax on employment options?

Was this #faketradie take two? No need to worry, the BCA assured followers the bartender was real, writing “No need to Google. She’s a #realbartender in a real pub in Adelaide, South Australia where they know that real investment=real jobs.”

Sleuthing from Crikey’s Josh Taylor confirmed that this was indeed a real bar — The General Havelock or “the Havey” in Adelaide — and it appeared that the woman in the photo does indeed work there.

Of course, it’s not just any old bar. Blogger Nathan Lee tweeted that the Havelock is owned by the Fahey family, one of whom, Greg Fahey, is the former vice-president (and a life member) of the South Australian branch of employer lobbying group the Australia Hotels Association. Greg’s sons Jason and Trent are also both currently on the AHASA Council. One of AHASA’s pet causes is — you guessed it — onerous tax burdens on hospitality businesses. Lee backed his assertion with a PDF of the AHASA’s official publication from July 2012. It’s not clear if the Fahey family still owns the bar.

We gave the Havelock a call, but they declined to comment or put us in contact with the #realbartender.

Peter Fray

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