Their submission comes after outspoken entrepreneur Matt Barrie slammed the data used by Mike Baird to support the laws in his own submission, and Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore called for sensible compromise on the ‘one-size-fits-all’ legislation.
The AHA are proposing a relaxing of the law pertaining to last drinks being called at 3am, instead advocating for a ‘no new patrons’ deadline. This policy update would bring pubs and clubs in the lockout zone into line with hotels and pubs in Newtown, who adopted this policy in 2015. The ‘no new patrons’ deadline would allow patrons arriving after 3am to book ahead with a venue to allow entry.
The submission contends that such a policy is a sensible and pragmatic alternative to a lockout; “Existing patrons can leave to have a cigarette or obtain food whilst other persons can pre-plan their attendance and notify the premises, with that position in the venue held for their arrival”.
Adopting the policy will alleviate the need for a 1:30am lockout, contends the lobby group. In addition, the AHA are calling for an end to the 10pm closure of bottle shops in the lockout zone.
John Green, the AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Policing, says that the current Liquor Act “already has real teeth to deal with rogue operators,” adding that “the power to cancel or suspend a licence already exists, as does the power to disqualify any person from having an interest in the business.”
The blanket lockout laws “unfairly penalise many safe, well-run venues with a proven track record of compliance” says Green. “Imposing additional blanket measures on everyone, regardless of whether they are a good or bad operator, is poor policy.”
The findings of the review into the lockout laws will be made public in August.
Gallery: Reclaim The Streets Rally – Sydney 2016 / Photos By Brandon Matich