Member for Newtown Jenny Leong has responded to today’s story in the SMH on a City of Sydney report on late-night pedestrian numbers throughout Sydney.
The report notes a large decrease in nighttime foot traffic through Kings Cross and the CBD, and a sharp rise in pedestrian numbers in Newtown.
Ms Leong says, “We’ve seen an increase in the number of people going out in Newtown and that created a need for a local response, one that would protect the safe, vibrant, open and diverse night-time community feel of Newtown.
“Through public meetings and the establishment of the Newtown Vibe Roundtable – which involves the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, police, local businesses, local councils and my office – we’re working on local strategies that will keep Newtown open and safe.
“While we’ve seen visitor numbers jump, we haven’t seen a corresponding jump in reported violent incidents. There are certainly some changes to the feeling on the street on a Friday and Saturday night, but shutting down our nightlife isn't the way to stop this.
“The answer to stopping drunken anti-social behaviour isn’t to stop people going out. We need to change the way people interact when they go out, create a culture of respect, and limit the focus solely on large commercial drinking venues.
“Sure, if there is no-one on the streets there won’t be any anti-social behavior. But at what cost to our nightlife and our creative communities?” she said.