Publican Leigh Turnbull and bartender Tyla Savage greet guests at The Criterion.
Publican Leigh Turnbull and bartender Tyla Savage greet guests at The Criterion. JACK EVANS

CQ businessman: Let's put responsibility before entitlement

AS he writes his memoirs, Policeman to Publican, Leigh Turnbull has had plenty of time to make observations on the state of the nation.

With 10 years as a police officer and a further 44 years in hospitality, the 73-year-old Criterion Hotel publican has spent much of his life heavily involved with the public.

Mr Turnbull is not one to hold back on his opinions, and for many, he has become a strong voice of reason.

This was made apparent as the punters of the Criterion gathered to hear what he had to say.

He has noticed a shift in public perception in the last two decades.

Mr Turnbull believes people have become more concerned with their rights and less concerned with their responsibilities.

In his 28th year at the Criterion, he has slowly experienced a decline in responsibility and a rise in entitlement amongst his staff.

This has got him thinking about whether responsibility, or lack of, has become a big national issue.

"I'm forever disturbed by the attitude of Australians, whether it be Australians or overseas Australians, he said.

"All they want to do is put their hands up and say, 'it's my rights', there is never any question about their responsibilities.

"I've got the same thing with my staff here.

"I rear up when I hear about entitlement before responsibility."

Mr Turnbull remembers when responsibility was common place.

"I remember a time when people would assume responsibility and accountability for their actions," he said.

"Some young people today wouldn't even know what responsibility is."

Mr Turnbull reckons there are multiple socio-political forces to blame.

"I blame the soft approach of the education system, I blame governments for not letting parents parent their children," he said.

"The parenting of children is where it all starts."

According to Mr Turnbull, the blame also falls on the unions.

"Unions have pushed this sense of entitlement on the community ever since day dot," he said.

"Thank goodness the union movement is getting less and less numbers.

"You see it here in the mines."

Mr Turnbull admits that a perfect world would be difficult to achieve.

"I think I was brought up in a perfect world in the 50s and 60s," he said.

"We used to have set paths for our lives but now no one knows what path they're on and that comes back to no responsibility"

Mr Turnbull thinks different attitudes towards soft parenting and overhauls to the education system, unions, immigration policy and government at all levels are essential to changing public perception on responsibility.

Not surprisingly, he also believes a Labor win in early 2019 will be catastrophic.