Keep Sydney Open Rally 2016 / Photo By Ashley Mar

Yet Another Aussie City Could Be Hit With Tougher Lockout Laws

Yet another city could be claimed by the now-countrywide lockout laws, it has been reported.

Darwin is being looked at as the next city where strict lockout laws will be imposed after the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) piped up yesterday.

The Northern Territory capital, which already has a 3am lockout in place, is toying with the idea of legislating that all clubs and bars shut their doors by 1am and operate an earlier last drinks policy through laws that look very similar to Queensland’s strict lockouts. The potential move has already been given a thumbs up by the NT Police Association.

The call for renewed laws comes from doctors and surgeons who see the result of late night partying “first hand”, according to RACS committee chair John Crozier.

“Ultimately it is surgeons and other medical professionals who see first-hand the extent of the problem,” Crozier says. “In an election year I encourage both the Government and the opposition to consult the evidence base.”

He goes on to say: “It is increasingly showing that earlier closing times consistently reduce assaults and emergency department attendances, and are a crucial part of managing alcohol-related violence.”

Despite widespread opposition to the laws based on well-placed concerns that live music and the hospitality industry is being negatively affected by lockouts, many elements insist that they are necessary and effectual for the elimination of alcohol-related violence throughout Australian cities.

RACS’s John Crozier has cited a few stats to back up his support for the suggestion of new lockouts in Darwin, stating that alcohol-related violence has declined by 32% in Kings Cross and 26% in the CBD since lockouts were introduced in Sydney in February 2014.

“Australian and international research demonstrates that for every additional hour of trading after midnight, there is a 16-20 per cent increase in assaults,” he says. “Conversely, for every hour of reduced trading there is a 20 per cent reduction in assaults.”

The opinions of doctors and surgeons in RACS are not necessarily representative of every member of Australia’s medical community. Indeed, a group of medics is currently working against lockout law legislation in neighbouring Queensland. They’re aim is to “highlight the fact there are many doctors, nurses and paramedics who oppose these laws and believe they punish the vast majority who do not cause and problem and want to enjoy a night out in Sydney, Brisbane and beyond.”

Last month Max Hardwick-Morris, a recent victim of a coward punch penned an open letter to Premier of NSW Mike Baird urging him to rethink the lockout laws in Sydney, calling the city “an international joke.”

Thousands of Sydneysiders recently took to the streets in mass protest against the lockout laws, which are currently under review.

Gallery: The Funniest Anti-Lockout Banners From The ‘Keep Sydney Open’ Rally (21.02.16)

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