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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The AHED program conducts research into the extent and impact of alcohol harm in our EDs, is trialling initiatives to monitor and reduce alcohol and other drug harms, and advocates for alcohol policy reform.
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.
It has been well publicised that in February 2014 the NSW Government introduced legislation to try and curb alcohol related violence in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross areas (see OLGR fact sheet). The intervention included lockouts and earlier closing times for licensed premises in the target precincts. In April 2015 the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) released an evaluation of the intervention which found that since February 2014 (up to September 2014) there had been significant decreases in non-domestic assaults in the Sydney CBD entertainment precinct (down 26%) and the Kings Cross precinct (down 32%) (Menéndez, 2015).
Media Release: A doubling in the number of Newcastle’s licensed premises confirms success of the “Newcastle Conditions”
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).