Premier of NSW Barry O’Farrell has just announced the government will introduce a 1.30am lockout policy for venues and clubs in Sydney’s CBD and Kings Cross, in an attempt to crack down on alcohol-related violence.
The laws will apply to all licensed venues and clubs across an expanded Sydney CBD entertainment precinct, spanning from Kings Cross to Darling Harbour. There will be a mandatory 1:30am lockout and drinks will not be allowed to be served after 3.00am, but venues can remain open. Small bars, defined as up to 60 people and casinos are for now exempt from the new measures.
“[We will do] whatever it takes to get the message through to people across NSW that it is no longer acceptable to go out and drink yourself stupid, take illicit substances, start fights, ‘coward punch’ people or engage in other assaults, thinking you won’t get away with it,” Mr O’Farrell said in a press conference today.
While no official map outlining the legislation’s perimeters has been released, an image floating around online (below) suggests popular Sydney live music venues like Goodgod Small Club, Oxford Art Factory, Spectrum and Club 77, which all have a capacity higher than 60 patrons and late weekend trading hours, will be affected by the new laws.
Bottle shops will also close at 10pm under the package of reforms, which also includes increased mandatory sentences for assault and steroid possession. Alcohol or drug fuelled fatal “one-punch” assaults, like those that resulted in the deaths of teenagers Daniel Christie and Thomas Kelly, will receive a mandatory minimum jail sentence of eight years.
O’Farrell said if the government are able to push the legislation through Parliament, it could be in operation by 1st February. The premier also stated that if alcohol related incidents arise outside the perimeters of the CBD and Kings Cross, those perimeters could be expanded.
(Image Via InTheMix)