By Andy Young, editor TheShout
A survey by global events and entertainment network The Socialites has revealed that the majority of people believe the liquor legislation introduced in NSW in 2014 is “unjustified”.
The survey, which had over 23,500 respondents asked for people’s views on the ban of take-away alcohol after 10pm, no shots, doubles or pre-mixers after midnight as well as not entry to venues after 1.30am and last drinks at 3am. And every answer came back massively in favour of the rules being unjustified.
Seventy-five per cent of those who responded said the ban of the sale of takeaway alcohol was unjustified, with 53 per cent saying there should be no ban at all. Thirty-nine per cent said the law should set a later time, with 58 per cent of those suggesting midnight would be a better time for takeaway sales to stop.
In terms of the ban on shots, doubles and pre-mixers after midnight, 58 per cent said this law was unjustified and 53 per cent saying there should be no ban at all. Twenty-eight per cent said that the ban should be later, with 2am being the most popular revised time.
The NSW licensing changes also saw venues in Sydney’s CBD entertainment precinct banned from allowing patrons entry after 1.30am and this had by far the biggest response of unjustified, with 84 per cent being against the rule.
Sixty-nine per cent added that there should be no lockouts, while 24 per cent said the ban should simply come in later. And of that 24 per cent, 54 per cent agreed that 3am is the best lockout time, which means venues could allow patrons entry until last drinks.
Regarding last drinks, 64 per cent said 3am was not a fair last drinks time, with 51 per cent saying there should be no limit and 26 per cent saying it should be later, with 5am the preferred time.
NSW Premier Mike Baird has come under fire for his handling of the lockout debate and that dissatisfaction is reflected in the survey with the government’s rating for its handling of the situation being 1.43 out of five.
The survey also asked respondents to give views on other factors regarding the liquor licensing and issues surrounding late-night entertainment. One of the most notable results is that 92 per cent said that public transport should run all night, hinting that many see aggravation regarding how to get home as a factor in late-night violence. The survey also agreed that any reduction or removal of the laws must be substituted by higher patron penalties first, with possibly a higher police presence.
The fact that The Star casino and the new Barangaroo development as exempt from the legislation has also drawn criticism and in this survey the majority of respondents saying that the laws should apply to all venues, although 74 per cent said that venues should be able to apply for exemptions.
The changes to New South Wales liquor licensing were brought in in 2014 and former High Court judge Ian Callinan QC is currently conducting a review, which is expected to be released later this year.