Media release: Emergency workers praise alcohol restrictions as assaults plummet

Feb 5, 2016

5 Feb, 2016: Emergency workers have slammed claims that Sydney has become an international joke as a result of the our modest alcohol restrictions which have helped slash the number of late night assaults as the real joke.

Last Drinks coalition spokesperson and Secretary of the NSW Health Services Union, Gerard Hayes, said an online essay claiming that the modest alcohol measures have killed off Sydney’s reputation is dangerous and completely misguided.

“The real joke here is the idea that Sydney’s streets are worse off as a result of these vital, modest restrictions,” Mr Hayes said.

“Prior to the introduction of these modest alcohol restrictions, emergency service workers were run off our feet dealing with horrific violent assaults every single weekend. The number of innocent people ending up in our emergency wards, or worse, was out of control.

“New statistics released just this week show that the number of assaults in the Kings Cross area has fallen by 45 per cent. There’s no denying our streets are safer as a result of these important measures.

“Now, we have a city where people feel safe to move around in the evening. The culture has certainly changed and the popular and responsible venues still remain full on the weekends.

“The claims that we’re ruining our city are a simple case of scaremongering by vested interest group in the alcohol industry. Our city isn’t dying; it’s more alive than ever.

“Do we really want a city with an international reputation as a violent and dangerous place? Where innocent young people are losing their lives? I don’t think so.

“Emergency service workers are making fewer calls telling people their loved ones have been injured, or worse, as a result of alcohol-fuelled violence. How anyone can claim that is a bad thing is beyond me.

“We need to see increased protections, not a scaling back of the current ones.”

The Last Drinks coalition represents NSW emergency service workers and includes doctors, police, nurses and paramedics.

‘Last-drink’ laws, not lockouts, reduce alcohol-fuelled violence

Jan 18, 2016

Each state and territory of Australia has laws concerning times when alcohol can be sold. As Queensland considers new laws, several policy experiments that have occurred in recent years can provide valuable lessons.

Lockout laws are here to stay, says Mike Baird

Jan 11, 2016

BOTTLE shops across the state will be forced to continue closing at 10pm, with Premier Mike Baird adamant the ­restriction will not be removed following a two-year review of NSW’s mandatory lockout laws next month.

Queensland lockout laws: One-punch death proof they must stay

Jan 8, 2016

ALCOHOL-fuelled violence at the weekend which ended in tragedy shows why it was vital the State Government’s lockout laws should not be watered down, according to Acting Health Minister Anthony Lynham.

Binge drinking vs drinking every day: which is more damaging to your health?

Dec 15, 2015

ABC Online: Hang around an inner-city emergency department on a Friday night and you will see the damage binge drinking can cause. Bloody knuckles, broken noses, black eyes and worse — fractured limbs and fractured lives.

Sydney Rapid Transit Network to cut direct city service for commuters west of Bankstown

Nov 24, 2015

Alcohol is sending hundreds of thousands of people to emergency departments each year, far outranking the scourge of ice, research on Australian and New Zealand hospitals has found.

Key must not turn on alcohol lockout laws

Sep 15, 2015

OPINION, TOBY HALL: Two years ago, on any Friday or Saturday night, the emergency department at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney would be awash with victims of alcohol-related bashings and accidents. It was a war zone.

Now, 18 months after the suite of measures known as Sydney’s “lockout laws” dramatically changed things for the better, an array of special interest groups are working to have them watered down or struck from the books.


Media Release: A doubling in the number of Newcastle’s licensed premises confirms success of the “Newcastle Conditions”

Aug 5, 2015

4 August 2015: Recent figures provided by Newcastle Police show that the total number of licenced premises in inner Newcastle have more than doubled (110%) since the modest enforceable reduction in late trading hours across the whole precinct was introduction in March 2008 (see table below).

Fears of alcohol-fuelled violence fear are fading

Aug 5, 2015

HONEYSUCKLE is the most popular, Hamilton can be dangerous.

Newcastle West lacks identity and the perception of other late-night Newcastle precincts may not match the reality.

Read more

MEDIA RELEASE: Newtown alcohol restrictions missing key ingredient

Aug 1, 2015

1 August 2015:Newtown alcohol restrictions missing key ingredient

Newtown publicans’ decision to take matters into their own hands and introduce self-imposed alcohol restrictions is a great step towards reducing violence in the area, however they’re missing the key ingredient – reduced trading hours.

Newtown publicans agreed yesterday to introduce 3am lock outs and restrictions on some high alcohol content drinks on Friday and Saturday nights in an attempt to reduce the alcohol problems in the area.

Last Drinks coalition spokesperson and President of the Police Association of NSW, Scott Weber said that while its great to see the publicans looking to the Kings Cross and Newcastle alcohol restrictions as an example, a full suite of measures, including reduced trading hours, is needed.

“It’s great to see Newtown publicans taking serious action to reduce alcohol–related violence on our streets, but unfortunately without reduced trading hours as part of the mix, chances are this won’t have as big an impact as we need to see,” Mr Weber said.

“Lock outs make headlines and are necessary, but only as a part of a suite of measures. Reduced trading hours is they key, missing ingredient.

“Now we really need to see the State Government step in and ensure we have measures to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence in hotspot areas right across the state.

“We know what works – reduced trading hours combined with lock out and restrictions on high alcohol-content drinks. It’s been proven in Newcastle and again in Kings Cross. The Government has the solution at its fingertips; now it’s just a matter of taking action and introducing the measures statewide.

“We can’t sit back and allow the carnage on our streets to continue. We know that the combination of reduced trading hours, lock-outs and restrictions on high alcohol content drinks is the way to significantly reduce alcohol-related assaults, so why are we waiting to take action?

The Last Drinks coalition represents NSW emergency service workers and includes doctors, police, nurses and paramedics.

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