Jan 13, 2015

MEDIA RELEASE: Removal of alcohol restrictions would see return to carnage

Lifting the alcohol-violence laws currently in place in the greater Sydney CBD would see a return to the violent, carnage-filled streets of old, emergency service workers say.

Last Drinks coalition spokesperson and Secretary of the Health Services Union NSW, Gerard Hayes, said the NSW Government’s move to bring forward a review of the laws is a huge concern for emergency service workers and the community.

“Emergency service workers are saying loud and clear that these laws are working to curb the carnage we were seeing on the streets of Kings Cross and the surrounds,” Mr Hayes said.

“Lifting the alcohol restrictions would put the community at risk. There’s no doubt about that.

“We can’t afford to go back to the days when people were terrified to walk through the streets of Kings Cross after dark.

“Since the restrictions on alcohol-trading were introduced we’ve seen a significant decrease in alcohol-fuelled violence on our streets. Our police are dealing with fewer violent drunks, our paramedics are called out to fewer alcohol-related incidents and our emergency department doctors and nurses are seeing fewer tragic cases as a result of alcohol-fuelled violence.

“The fact that the NSW Government would move to conduct an early review of measures that are clearly working is concerning to say the least. It makes you wonder just how much pressure the alcohol lobby group is placing on Ministers.

“The Government has a responsibility to put the safety of the people of NSW ahead of vested interests.

“The NSW Government must rule out watering down these vital measures. 

Mr Hayes said that the Government should actually be looking at rolling the measures out elsewhere in the state.

“Other communities across the state should be crying out for these measures to be introduced in their area.

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