News & Insight

Booze lockout laws are here to stay in NSW, says Andrew Scipione

Critics say unruly revellers are now moving to the inner-west suburb of Newtown, causing an increase in alcohol-fuelled violence there. .

BACKING down on tough lockout laws would be a betrayal of one-punch victim Thomas Kelly, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said yesterday.

After a stirring speech by Stuart Kelly, whose older brother Thomas was killed in an alcohol-fuelled attack in Kings Cross three years ago, the state’s top cop had a clear message: Lockout laws are here to stay.

“You would almost betray the death of a young man by doing that, by backing off now,” he told radio station­ 2GB.

Stuart Kelly challenged Sydney’s top leaders, among a 700-strong audience at the Take Kare dinner on Wednesday night, not to cave in to public pressure to water down the laws.

“Australia is an alcoholic — we need to rethink the way we drink,” the Year 12 student said. “Tonight your involvement and your voice can and will make a difference.”

The lockout laws were enforced last year and require central Sydney venues to refuse entry to people after 1.30am and stop serving alcohol at 3am. But venues, DJs and partygoers say the rules are draconian.

Critics say unruly revellers are now moving to the inner-west suburb of Newtown, causing an increase in alcohol-fuelled violence there.

But Mr Scipione said violent ­behaviour had not yet reached a concerning level in that area.

More than 1000 people protested against the lockout laws last weekend, marching from Hyde Park to Kings Cross.


The medical fraternity does not want the lockout laws softened, with St Vincent’s Hospital surgeon Dr John Crozier saying they had drastically reduced alcohol-related injuries.

“It has been a tremendous transformation,” he said.

The anti-violence measures include a statewide ban on selling takeaway alcohol after 10pm. A Darling Harbour bottleshop owner was the first to feel the full force of this law on Monday when he was fined more than $28,000 for serving undercover police officers after the cut-off time,


1.  What a load of rubbish. If lock-out laws had been in place when this kid was tragically killed, there would have been no difference whatsoever. The lock-out laws were an over-reaction by then Premier O'Farrell and should be scrapped. countless business have closed down and thousands have lost their jobs and what has it achieved other than pushing the problem somewhere else.

2.  If the numbers show violence is down in the Kings Cross area, whats the problem with making them state wide, that would stop drunks "forum shopping" to stop them carrying on like yobbos at the first pub outside the lockout area.

Yes, I know its a terrible impost on the "rights" of drunks, but young people being beaten to death in the street by drunks is never acceptable.  

To all those people who think we need to scrap the lockout laws ... how many people being punched to death is an acceptable number for you?


What a surprise, the beer barons want to get back to business, in other words lining their pockets at the expense of the rest of the community.  You have a policy in place that has proven, not just guestimated, but proven to drive down alcohol related violent crime and yet there are people calling for the legislation to be repealed.


The figures used are not just plucked from the air at random, these are verifiable figures from BOCSAR, these are reports from medical professionals at the coal face who are seeing the reduction in harm that is being caused by this legislation.

Young Mr Kelly was spot on when he said Australia is an alcoholic, as a community and society there are serious issues with the way many within our communities use and abuse alcohol, for many it is not a case of enjoying a drink but a case of drinking for effect and not stopping until you collapse or are physically incapable of drinking any more.

This legislation does not stop anyone from having a drink, what it does do is make responsible service of alcohol a priority, it forces the beer barons to take responsibility for their actions by making them accountable for their clientele.

It makes it harder for someone to get so obliterated that they do something stupid that possibly ends someone else's life and ruins their own future in the process, surely that has to be a good thing.

This legislation also reduces the chance that another 14 year old will have to go to a hospital to be told by Doctor's that their brother, sister, mother or father are probably going to die due to the actions of a drunk imbecile who didn't know when to say enough is enough.

18th September 2015. Andi YuThe Daily Telegraph



Published on by TKYF.