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Sydney Lockout Laws Passed

Written by Greg Moskovitch on January 30, 2014

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell’s controversial “one-punch” laws, which impose harsher punishments on intoxicated assaults, 10pm closing times for bottle shops, 1:30am lockouts, and 3:00am last-calls, will be enforced in Sydney starting this weekend, according to a report by News Corp.

Premier O’Farrell had promised to have the legislation pass through parliament quickly and the bill has now passed the upper house. While the law faced opposition from Greens and independent MP Alex Greenwich, support from the opposition handed O’Farrell the required numbers.

However, a number of Labor MPs, including deputy leader Linda Burney, said they did not agree with the proposed mandatory minimum sentences. As News Corp reports, party leader John Robertson added that Labor would support the bill but had “considerable reservations.”

While Mr O’Farrell has said that the laws will “make our streets safer,” they have faced strong opposition from the public, with many, including several musicians and venue owners, taking to social media to share their criticisms of what they feel are misguided and draconian laws.

Oxford St venue Q Bar shared a petition dubbed ‘Punish Thugs Not Pubs,’ whose description argued that the proposed lockout is “a law that punishes the good behaviour of the majority for the poor behaviour of a few.” “OUR CROWD ARE LOVERS NOT FIGHTERS,” added venue owners.

Meanwhile, Sydney EDM artist Levins tweeted, “I really think NSW should spend a tonne of money on a “DON’T BE A F-CKWIT” campaign,” later adding, “Imagine a state wide fuckwit awareness commercial that culminated in a father yelling “DON’T BE A F-CKWIT, JESSICA” at his daughter.”

Earlier today, theMusic reported on the launch of the Sydney Late Night Cultural Alliance, which stands in opposition to the lockout laws and hopes to bring about change by organising the city’s live music community to work as one and further the industry’s own interests.

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