May 1, 2016
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Author: Kirsty Needham
Sunday 1st May 2016
A prominent health lobby group and two alcohol research bodies have questioned the effectiveness of the 1.30am lockout in Sydney, instead suggesting it is 3am closures that reduce violence.
The Australian Drug Foundation has told an independent review into the controversial alcohol restrictions in Sydney that while it supports the 3am closing time in Kings Cross and the CBD, more research was needed on the value of preventing new customers from entering bars at 1.30am.
“While much public attention has focused on the ‘lockout’ component of the package of measures, the evidence from the Sydney intervention and similar interventions in Newcastle and Surfers Paradise suggest it may be the reduction in trading hours (i.e. closure at 3.00am) that has been particularly valuable, rather than the lockout that takes effect at 1.30am,” the Australian Drug Foundation submission said.
The Callinan review into NSW liquor laws has received 1800 submissions, many of which were made public on Friday.
The Committee for Sydney think-tank said there was now an opportunity to shape Sydney’s night-time economy without persisting with the lockout laws in their current form.
The Committee, which until recently was headed by Lucy Turnbull, said there are more people living in the inner city, these residents are more likely to be Asian or “global talent” from Europe and the US, and who were accustomed to sophisticated night-time entertainment.
It wants Sydney to diversify its night-time offering “by encouraging more varied evening and night-time activities in the city, beyond drinking”, arguing this will improve safety.
The Committee said extending retail trading hours beyond Thursday evening, later restaurant openings, extended museum and gallery opening times and more live music would bring a more diverse “twilight dweller” to the city, including families.
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