News & Insight

Locks outs and last drinks, sending a strong signal

Police Minister Stuart Ayres says the introduction of 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks for licensed venues in central Sydney is driving a cut in alcohol-related violence.

Announcing on Wednesday a range of new alcohol service restrictions for pubs, clubs and bars in the Sydney CBD, Kings Cross and Darlinghurst from July 18, Mr Ayres said the lockouts and last-drinks rules introduced in late February were having an impact.

''The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research figures will determine the performance of all of our measures,'' he said. ''But what we have seen in the initial period after the changes to the time restrictions [is] a reduction in alcohol-fuelled violence. So that's sending a strong signal to the government but also the community.''

It had been feared drinkers would simply move to venues outside the precinct - which is bounded by Kings Cross, Cockle Bay, The Rocks and Haymarket - and violent incidents would follow.

Mr Ayres said there was no indication of a ''migration'' of violence outside the precinct.

Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch rejected criticism the licensing restrictions were turning NSW into a ''nanny state''.

''That is rubbish, absolute rubbish,'' he said. ''The whole aspect of safety is something we should be promoting, that venues should be promoting. Kings Cross is as safe as it has ever been. The city of Sydney is as safe as it has ever been.''

The NSW branch of the Australian Hotels Association has warned the rules would be ''catastrophic'' for Sydney's night-time economy.

The government has said the new measures would be fully assessed once in place for two years.

The AHA urged the government to report their impact on businesses ''sooner rather than later''.

A spokeswoman said the government would be guided by data as it emerged but that ''anecdotally police and health are reporting encouraging decreases in both alcohol-fuelled violence and alcohol-related emergency department presentations''.

Read more:

lock outs

Published on by TKYF. Source.