Hope for lock-out rethink

Hope for lock-out rethink

Oxford St publicans have called on the newly-formed Sydney Liquor Task Force to review the 2am lock-out system and come up with more effective measures for handling alcohol-related violence.

The state Government, with the City of Sydney Council, this week announced a 12-month freeze on new liquor licences for the Sydney CBD and the formation of the Liquor Taskforce, to be co-chaired by Lord Mayor Clover Moore and Premier Nathan Rees, to tackle alcohol-related crime in the Darlinghurst and Kings Cross areas.

A licence freeze is necessary and will help refine policy measures which may be suitable to extend to other areas in NSW, Moore said.

Fighting alcohol violence is a joint responsibility and success in driving down incidents is dependent on all parties working together.

Made up of state and council organisations including NSW Police, NSW Health Department and the Australian Hotels Association, the taskforce will investigate ways to reduce violence and effectively police the areas.

Oxford St publicans hope the taskforce will review the 2am lock-out which they say has negatively impacted on their businesses.

I’d seriously welcome a review of the policy. It’s been devastating for the gay venues along Oxford St, Stonewall Hotel licensee Craig Bell said.

For my mind, everyone should be on a 2am lock-out or we should be looking at measures that address the small number of people who cause trouble because they have a bad reaction to alcohol.

Bell called for a defined review system of the 48 restricted pubs and clubs.

Arq owner Shadd Danesi wants a thorough investigation of the way assaults at venues are recorded.

These allegations of assault on the premises haven’t been to any court to be tested if they’re true. It’s one person’s view and their word is taken as gospel and an assault is recorded against the venue, he said.

A lot of these hotels shouldn’t be on the list, so there needs to be a review mechanism to get off the list.

Surry Hills Police Commander Superintendent Donna Adney said the 2am lock-out had been a success, but welcomed any approach to curb assaults in the Surry Hills and Darlinghurst areas.

We’ve seen a decrease in the number of assaults reported at the declared premises, so I think the 2am lock-out has been effective, she said. But anything that improves the area is worthwhile, whether that be about a focus on licensed premises or a focus on responsible service of alcohol or the personal responsibility of people consuming alcohol.

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6 responses to “Hope for lock-out rethink”

  1. I can – some of us work funny shifts and when we knock off, you are well into party mode, or just about to tuck into bed.

    The two am lock out just doesnt do anything to curb the violence that is said to occur around these hotels. I believe in another posters argument, and that is, when do you see a group of gay guys walking out of a hotel (insert name of hotel with 2am lockout restrictions here), and belting people up. Last time I saw something like this happen, it was outside another pub, which was not covered by the lockout, and it wasnt frequented by memebers of the GLBT community. I wont name the hotel.

    Its simple folks. When a patron gets enough alcohol in them and it can be seen that they have had enough of a night at it, ask them to leave politely, or stop serving them. It wont stop the fights around other bars, but it will give a message about responsible consumption, and give the government a hint that Pub X is a responsible hotel, and protects its patrons by stopping others having way to much to drink.

  2. There is no doubt the 2am lockout has had a positive outcome in terms of reducing the number of people out on the street. However I agree with the calls from some of the publicans that the lockout should be applied to all venues as opposed to just a small number. Venues with poor management should have their late trading hours permanently reduced. There has been a large amount of research conducted over the last few years which shows that the only effective way to reduce the negative impacts associated with alcohol is to reduce access to it. This can only be achieved by reducing density of licensed premises, reducing trading hours and increasing prices. It has been proven time and again that the ‘feel good’ initiatives such as education and responsible service of alcohol simply aren’t anywhere near as effective

  3. The police have stated that it has reduced the number of reported assaults at the declared premises. They have not said that it has reduced the number of people on the streets because it has not.

    My point is that the measures that have been introduced do not and will not work.

    I agree with you Peter that a variety of strategies are required to handle the problem , I just don’t believe the Govt. is going in the correct direction. :)

  4. Whilst it may be more effective in the longterm to try to get people to change their anti-social behaviour, there will be some people whose behaviour we will be unable to change, and besides, behavioural change takes a longer amount of time to effect

    I don’t think there is one answer and I think the best answer is using a variety of techniques/strategies – including both education for behavioural change, and prevention of the likelihood of these incidents which is what the 2am lockout does (perhaps because it reduces the numbers of people on the street).

  5. Any decrease in the number of assaults reported at the declared premises is because there are less people going to these premises because of the 2am lockout and the other restrictions placed on them. Less people equals less reported incidence. Simple.

    However it is not effective in solving the overall issue of alcohol related anti-social behaviour in the community.

    There are some 30 licensed Pubs and nightclubs in the Oxford st area but of the 5 venues that have been placed on the list, 4 are Gay Venues. When was the last time that you saw a group of Gay guys cruising the neighbourhood looking for trouble? Targeting others in the community to fight?

    I have never seen this yet the Govt. identified that the problem venues were the ones that were largely frequented by the Gay community. This does not make sense does it?