I am calling on the Baird Government to commit to long term solutions to alcohol related violence as part of the NSW Liquor Law Review. Global examples have shown us that innovation in the night time economy is the answer to this serous cultural problem. Shutting down the City’s night life has provided us with an effective short term solution but it is not sustainable in the long term.
In my submission to the Liquor Law Review I also call out the Baird Government for its hypocrisy concerning the exemption for the casino which is not effected by the Lock-out Laws. While a number of establishments have gone out of business due to the 3am shut down the casino’s profits have been protected by Baird. We await the Premier’s evidence based justification of this special treatment.
Sydney has come a long way in the last few years. The increase in the number of small bars and other night-time activities available is, in part, thanks to the City’s efforts to encourage diversity in the night time economy. Innovative approaches in cities such as London, Amsterdam and Vancouver have demonstrated you can address alcohol related violence and anti-social behaviour without needing to shut down the night time economy.
What is common to the evidence based solutions on offer is an emphasis on diversity of activities. Rather than a concentration of beer barns we need to create spaces that cater to a diverse variety of people. Sydney is proud to be home to a significant number of the LGBTIQ community as well as people from a range of cultural backgrounds. We are also home to a large creative community who make an enormous contribution to the night life. We want to see this diversity thrive.