If you're unaware of these new laws or don't really understand what the fuss is about, let me simplify things for you. The NSW Government introduced these laws in response to high levels of alcohol fuelled violence on our streets. These laws state that:
1. After 10pm you can't buy alcohol from shops
2. After 1:30am no new customers ie. 1:30am lockouts (small bars and most restaurants exempt)
3. After 3am no more drinks served ie. 3am last drinks
4. 48 hr temporary bans on troublemakers
Ok, perhaps they seem a little iffy. Have they had any positive effect on alcohol-fuelled violence rates in Sydney, you might ask? Wonderful question! I'm so glad you brought that up. In fact, these laws have made an immeasurable difference:
- 32% decrease in assaults in Kings Cross
- 26% decrease in assaults in Sydney CBD
So I think the real concern should be, why are so many Sydney-siders throwing a hissy fit over reforms that are saving lives? Perhaps the incredibly inspiring movement of Keep Sydney Open should be renamed Keep Violence Happening? Or maybe Keep Letting Avoidable Deaths Occur?
Most people would agree that an alcohol fuelled one-punch assault is an absolutely heinous crime. But when the government finally steps up to protect innocent people from becoming victims of such a crime, all that can be heard is the incessant whining of those who refuse to give up a sliver of their "personal liberties" to potentially save lives.
However, it must be acknowledged that there are still improvements that should be made to Sydney's lockout laws, including relaxing the rules for live music venues so that musicians can continue to thrive, but in a safer environment (and a bunch of other things that I can't be bothered mentioning).
Perhaps we should be worrying about Sydney's seemingly out of control drinking culture and spend more time advocating safe drinking and rallying for even better alternatives rather than slamming these lockout laws at face value.