Oxford St and Taylor Square licensed venues have agreed to a trial patron lockout between 6am and 9am on weekends.

During the three month trial, starting in December, patrons leaving a venue between those times will not be allowed back into that venue or any other in the Surry Hills Liquor Licensing Accord area.

I initially asked for a closure, but we negotiated it back to a lockout, Surry Hills Police Commander Donna Adney told Sydney Star Observer.

We essentially wanted an opportunity to clear out the area, so people who live in the area have an opportunity to enjoy the amenity. You can’t do that when there’s people affected by alcohol, making a nuisance of themselves.

The effectiveness of the trial will be under constant review during the three months, and exemptions will be made during hallmark events such as Mardi Gras and New Year’s Eve. Surry Hills Police also pushed the use of plastic cups instead of glass.

Our statistics show an escalation of alcohol-related crime from around 3am onwards. It’s not that there’s necessarily more [after 6am] but from my point of view there’s too much for that time period, Adney said.

Australian Hotels Association chief executive Sally Fielke said the decision had the AHA’s full support. The historic decision clearly demonstrates that local solutions can be devised to address local issues, she said.

However, some 24-hour venues as far as Strawberry Hills will be affected, despite the case being presented as an issue centralised to Taylor Square.

Exchange Hotel licensee Darren Hickey said he didn’t sleep too well after the meeting because his Phoenix Rising day club didn’t normally start until 6.30am and would be directly impacted by the lockout. However, he wanted to be a team player in tackling violence on the strip.

There are only 11 venues affected, but at least we can still operate, Hickey told Sydney Star Observer.

We want to do what we can because if they end up having to shut down T2, those people will come further down Oxford St, maybe to the Phoenix. We’d need an army to keep those type of people out, and that could drive out our existing customers.

Talk of a 2am or 3am shutdown, proposed by NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and supported by several cabinet ministers, continued to spook licensees, Hickey said, especially when violence was occurring outside venues rather than inside.

Hickey said he hoped police would continue the high visibility patrols that started when Commander Adney took over at Surry Hills, because it costs a lot of money for us to keep security out there all the time.

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