An extension of the 2am lockout to all Darlinghurst and Surry Hills venues is one idea to be proposed at an upcoming community meeting to discuss the area’s alcohol-related problems.

Hosted by the Surry Hills Community Drug Action Team, A Night on the Grog will bring together representatives from the City of Sydney, Surry Hills Police, drug experts and local residents.
Organisers hope the night will be informative and lead to real initiatives.

At the first CDAT meeting of the year the vast majority of people felt that alcohol was a major issue, from the Oxford St end where it’s weekend binge drinkers to the Cleveland St end where it’s the street drinkers. It was decided that was something we needed to look at in depth, CDAT member Charmaine Jones explained.

We want to look at what people can do if they think they have a drinking problem and what people can do if they’re concerned about what’s happening in their area. We want to give the community a clearer picture of what is happening, because it’s not like the police or council aren’t doing anything.

Jones was keen to see stakeholders come forward with realistic ideas, one of which she said could include a blanket curfew for venues similar to that in the Newcastle region.

I guess we don’t know at this point exactly what can be done to help -” that’s why we’re having this. There is the argument that the lockout has worked effectively, although it only affects some pubs and clubs in the area.

I know in Newcastle they’ve done it to the whole preccinct and the crime stats have dropped by about 40 percent, so that’s something we could look at. If the stats prove they’re working why wouldn’t you extend that?

info: Night on the Grog, 6.15pm, June 24, Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre, 119 Devonshire St. RSVP: 9356 4977.

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