More than one hundred Sydneysiders joined the Member for Newtown and NSW Greens acting spokesperson on Liquor Laws Jenny Leong MP for the parliamentary debate on the petition to keep Sydney safe and open.Read more
Today we presented a petition signed by more than 12,000 people calling on the NSW Liberal Government to keep Sydney safe and open.
Almost 12,000 people have signed a petition calling on the NSW Government to recognise that the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross lockouts are having a damaging reputation on culture, personal freedom, business and Sydney's global reputation.
The people who have signed the petition agree that our streets should be safer, but don’t agree that the way to do this is to lock people out and shut down our nightlife.
NSW Greens acting spokesperson on Liquor Laws and Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP has tabled the petition in Parliament. The debate is schedule for Thursday afternoon.Read more
How can the public have confidence that the current review of the lockout laws will be comprehensive and impartial when the risk-based liquor licence scheme, which targets problem venues, was never implemented?
NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant has quietly suspended plans to charge additional licensing fees for venues that have a poor compliance rate with the states liquor laws, with big Sydney venues including The Ivy, Home Nightclub Tunnel nightclub and World Bar all set to benefit.
The fees, which were part of the package of reforms included 1:30am lockouts and last drinks, were due to be implemented in March 2016. This is despite being announced in January 2014, and promised to be implemented in the first part of that year.Read more
The NSW Government is in the process of reviewing the Liquor Amendment Act 2014, the legislation that brought in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross lockouts two years ago.
The NSW Greens have made a submission to the independent review, outlining our case for repealing the current laws in favour of innovative, integrated policies that reduce alcohol related violence without negatively impacting on Sydney’s creative communities and night-time economy.Read more
Greens Member for Newtown and acting spokesperson on liquor laws Jenny Leong MP congratulates the strong community campaign that has seen a welcome shift in the Government’s willingness to conduct a genuine review of the Sydney lockouts.Read more
The Greens believe that Sydney can be a safe, vibrant, open, 24-hour, global creative city.
Innovative, integrated policies can reduce alcohol related violence without negatively impacting on Sydney’s creative communities and night-time economy. What's needed is a collaborative response that brings together stakeholders and community members to address issues of alcohol-related violence.
While we welcome the decrease in assaults and hospitalisation that has occurred since the lockouts were imposed, we believe that equally positive results could be achieved through alternative policies.
Blanket lockout laws are punitive and too broad-reaching. They place onerous restrictions on everyone, including the vast majority of people who act in a responsibly. There have been negative impacts on venues, small businesses, and Sydney’s live performance community have.
It's clear that there were problems with violence and antisocial-behaviour in areas of Sydney that needed to be addressed. The lessons that we need to learn from the experiences in Kings Cross and the CBD are about the failure to properly regulate licenced premises and integrate necessary infrastructure. By minimising the constraints on the alcohol industry, Sydney developed the worst of all possible mixes and densities of venues.
The lockout policy did not address a core problem in NSW: that the alcohol lobby retains too much influence over public policy.
The Greens will continue to advocate for a response to alcohol-related violence that learns from the experience of other global cities; that involves comprehensive community consultation; that directly addresses the individuals and venues involved in anti-social behaviour; and that allows Sydney to thrive as an internationally recognised, 24-hour city that encourages creativity, entrepreneurship and community use of public spaces.
Background to the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross Lockouts
In January 2014, then‐Premier Barry O'Farrell recalled parliament to pass legislation that put in place 1:30am lock outs and 3:00am last drinks for venues in the Kings Cross Entertainment Precinct and the Sydney CBD. It also imposed a 10pm curfew on takeaway liquor sales.
The NSW Coalition Government responded to issues of alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour with a heavy handed law and order approach, supported by the Labor opposition.
The Greens voted against the legislation, as we believe that innovative, integrated policies can reduce alcohol related violence without negatively impacting on Sydney’s creative communities and night-time economy.
While we welcome the decrease in assaults and hospitalisation that has occurred since the lockouts were imposed, we believe that equally positive results could be achieved through alternative policies that do not have adverse impacts on the broader community.
The Greens welcome any reduction in violent crime but how this is achieved needs to be balanced with other impacts.
The lockouts have had a negative impact on our creative communities, live music venues, our night-time economy and our vibrant nightlife. They also unfairly punish the vast majority people in our community who act responsibly.
Local Impacts in Newtown
In the wake of the implementation of the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross lockouts, visitor numbers to Newtown increased and anecdotally we could all feel that things were changing (and not necessarily for the better!) In response, our office initiated a collaboration between the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre and the Newtown Business Precinct Association.
This began with a well-attended public meeting and then resulted in the establishment of the Newtown Vibe Roundtable – co-convened by the Member for Newtown and the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre and involving representatives from the local police, the Newtown Business Precinct Association, the Newtown Liquor Accord, ACON, local councils and local residents. The Roundtable draws on the vast local knowledge of participants and has been able to implement effective local strategies to address anti-social behaviour, as well as ensure that communication about potential risks is shared.
While there has been an increase in visitor numbers to Newtown, there has not been a corresponding increase in reported violent incidents. It has been a positive local strategy that has shown that it is possible to keep venues open late without compromising on safety.
Read Protecting the Vibe - A Report from the Newtown Vibe Roundtable - March 2017
Produced by the Office of Jenny Leong MP, the Member for Newtown, and the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, in collaboration with Newtown Vibe Roundtable Participants
- Read more about the Greens’ alternatives to lockouts.
- Watch Greens MP Jenny Leong asking former Premier Mike Baird to acknowledge that there are measures other than lockouts that can reduce violence and also keep Sydney open.
- Read Greens MP Jenny Leong’s op ed on the Sydney lockout laws in the SMH.
- Read about how local initiatives in Newtown are tackling problems with alcohol related violence in the City Hub.
Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon and Greens Member for Newtown Jenny Leong have commented on the growing economic and cultural impacts of Sydney’s CBD and Kings Cross lock-out laws, after federal ALP and Liberal senators voted down a Greens motion encouraging the NSW government to find a better long term solution to the perceived problem.Read more
Our question to the Premier: does he recognise the enormous negative impact that the lockouts have had on Sydney's night-time economy and vibrant nightlife, acknowledging that there are other measures that can reduce violence and keep Sydney open?