More than one hundred Sydneysiders joined the Member for Newtown and NSW Greens acting spokesperson on Liquor Laws Jenny Leong MP in the NSW Parliament yesterday for the debate on the petition to keep Sydney safe and open.
The petition was signed by nearly 12,000 NSW residents who 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.
The debate began with a speech from Ms Leong, which can be found here. There’s also an accompanying playlist of songs referenced in the speech (and credited to her staff in the Newtown Electorate office).
Ms Leong said:
“Our petition called on the government to recognise the valuable contribution that live music, night-time culture, and creativity make to Sydney – and to acknowledge that it is possible to keep Sydney safe but open.
“To get nearly 12,000 signatures on a petition is a huge effort and it shows the passion and dedication of Sydney's music, arts and creative communities, venues and businesses, and locals.
“The people who signed the petition agree that we need to address problems with violence and anti-social behaviour, but don’t agree that the only way to do that is to lock people out and shut down our nightlife.
“When the liquor law review was announced earlier this year, Mike Baird made it pretty clear that he was intent on keeping lockout laws across Sydney. But it was impossible for him to ignore the overwhelming opposition in the community and we’ve seen a shift in the government’s position.
“The government is promising that the liquor law review will guided by the input of the people of Sydney. Thousands have signed this petition, attended rallies and commented on social media to voice their opposition to the lockouts. That has to have some influence on the recommendations of the review.
“My speech gave a nod to musicians and creative communities, as we know that they provide the beating heart to our city. The lockouts have already had a significant impact on live venues and the musicians and DJs that play in them.
“The Greens were the only party to vote against the lockouts. We knew that the legislation that implemented them was flawed and heavy handed. There are smarter solutions that can keep our streets safe but also keep our venues open.