Last Drinks Media Release: Emergency services workers call for Premier to deliver transparency in Newcastle liquor law review
The Last Drinks Coalition of police and ambulance officers, nurses, doctors and health workers has expressed extreme disappointment with the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority’s (ILGA) decision to not publish submissions prior to the finalisation of the Newcastle liquor law review and have called on the Premier to intervene.
“We call on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to urgently intervene into this fiasco, to ensure that ILGA publishes submissions to the Newcastle liquor review prior to a decision being made. The community has a right to transparency in this process.”
In a joint statement the Coalition said that IGLA’s failure to publicise submissions to the review would deepen the concerns of emergency services workers and the public that the review is a fait accompli in favour of the powerful alcohol industry.
“The people of Newcastle have every right to see and analyse the information and evidence that will underpin decisions which will directly affect their daily lives.”
“ILGA’s decision to not publicise the submissions prior to a final decision being made worsens public suspicions that this review is little more than a Clayton’s consultation, designed to provide a veneer of legitimacy to a process which has the foregone conclusion of watering down Newcastle’s effective liquor laws.”
The Coalition said that IGLA’s refusal to publish submissions was just the latest act in a fraught and dubious process.
“For five months, ILGA refused to admit it was actually considering the AHA’s request to vary or revoke the Newcastle liquor conditions, until it was forced to do so due to public pressure in November 2017.”
“Then ILGA refused to allow NSW Police or NSW Health to provide any input into the review’s terms of reference.”
“This was followed by ILGA’s attempt to drastically truncate submissions to the review to just 16 days, until again pressured by the community and NSW Parliament.”
“The Last Drinks Coalition calls on the Premier to urgently intervene to deliver transparency and reiterates its call for ILGA to fully publish all submissions prior to completion of the review.”
“The Coalition does not accept ILGA’s assertion that do so would undermine the reviews effectiveness in any way, shape or form.”
“In fact, the opposite is true. Publicising submissions to the review would be a step toward restoring much needed public confidence in this review and the recommendations it will shortly make.”
The joint statement was provided by:
Police Association of NSW
Nurses and Midwives
Dr Tony Sara
Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation NSW
Health Services Union