Today marks the day that the two year freeze on reviewing Sydney’s lockout laws are up, which means you are now free to start flooding Premier Mike “The Bachelor” Baird’s inbox with your demand he repeal the laws. If you are so inclined.
The laws, which were first put in place in reaction to the one punch death of Thomas Kelly and others, has come under fire over the last two years, accused of destroying the city’s nightlife as Sydney business figure Matt Barrie’s recent scathing essay pointed out.
Since Barry O’Farrell’s introduction of the laws two years ago – which include a 1.30am lockout and 3am last drinks – a number of businesses in the lockout zone have closed their doors. Countless people in hospitality have lost their jobs, as the only bars allowed to stay open late are the ones with pokie machines, all while property prices in Kings Cross skyrocket.
Oh and the violence hasn’t even really stopped.
After reaching the end of their two-year trial, the contentious laws are finally up for review this month, and according to Deputy Premier Troy Grant, the findings would be made public later in the year.
But, Premier Mike Baird has already declared his intentions to keep the restrictions in tact, telling Fairfax that the government “does not intend to reverse or water down the lockout laws.” So much for a review.
While not as ideal as wiping the laws altogether, top industry figures are at least hoping to win exemptions for certain live music venues that have no history of alcohol-fuelled violence.
For those who want to fight for the future of their city, now is certainly the time.
You can email Mike Baird directly here.