The NSW Premier, Mike Baird, has been pilloried on social media for leaving the parliament early and avoiding being present for the debate over the controversial lockout laws.
The debate was set for yesterday afternoon and involved the presentation of a 10,000-strong physically signed petition – separate to the thousands of online signatures that have also been accrued – collected by the Keep Sydney Open group.
Kicked off by Greens MP, and member for Newtown, Jenny Leong, the debate was set to be held in front of a packed visitor gallery as concerned Sydneysiders and industry members turned up to show their support.
Unfortunately the Premier had other ideas, allegedly leaving the chamber mid-way through and effectively silencing the important debate over the impact of the laws on his constituents, many of whom are small business owners.
Members of the industry took to Twitter to express their disgust and question why the premier thought that the debate was of so little relevance he was not required to be present for its entirety.
Record Store Sydney tweeted “@mikebairdMP Too important to witness this anti #lockout petition presented in the chamber? Shameful. $500 million lost to small business”.
The debate comes as the industry awaits the results of the Callinan Review, which is due to be handed down later this year.