By Andy Young, editor TheShout
Clover Moore, the Lord Mayor of Sydney, has revealed that the city’s council has made its submission to the Callinan review labelling the 2014 liquor laws “a sledgehammer”.
In its submission the City of Sydney has called for a 12-month trial exemption from the 1.30am lockout for “well managed premises and live music and performance venues”. It has also called for a reconsideration of the 3am last drinks rule, which would take into account “a venue’s compliance history, planning controls and local factors”.
However the council’s submission has recommended that the 10pm take-away liquor sales restriction continues, as a measure, it says, “to address pre-fuelling”.
In speaking about the submission, Moore said: “The City has made a submission that I believe charts a middle ground – a package of recommendations that, taken together, encourage good venue management and support our live music and cultural sectors, while balancing the needs of residents and making no compromises on public safety.
“We want a civilised, safe late night economy with different options for people of all ages to go out and enjoy themselves after dark, without the blood-soaked, drunken punch ups on the street.
“Unfortunately the current approach – a blanket lockout across the city centre, Oxford Street and Kings Cross, with an inexplicable exemption for the casino – is a sledgehammer when what we need is a well-researched, evidence based, flexible response using transport, planning, licensing and police.
“There is no doubt the lockout law made some areas, especially Kings Cross, safer and returned normalcy to residents – that must not change. People need to feel safe.
“But they have also hurt the well-managed late-trading premises that are essential to our city’s cultural life, the people who responsibly enjoy them and the jobs that go with them.”
In total the council has made 31 recommendations in its submission to the Callinan review, one of which does call for the extension of train services “on Friday and Saturday nights until after venue closing times, to ensure people can get home quickly and safely”.