Nov 28, 2019

Lifting alcohol laws disappointing and dangerous: emergency service workers

The Premier’s decision today to wind up Sydney’s alcohol laws is disappointing and probably dangerous, emergency service workers say. 

The NSW Premier today announced that the modest alcohol laws will be axed in Sydney’s CBD and Oxford St from January 14th. The laws will remain in place in Kings Cross. Last drinks will be served at 3.30am. 

Gerard Hayes, Health Services Union NSW Secretary and Keep Sydney Safe spokesperson said that it’s disappointing that the Premier has made the decision to wind back the laws despite overwhelming evidence that the modest laws are saving lives. 

“The hard evidence and our collective experiences at the frontline of picking up the pieces when night time drinking goes wrong, means we are very, very conscious of the very real likelihood that assaults in the public and assaults on emergency services workers will increase as a result of this decision,” Mr Hayes said. 

“Our job is to keep the community and our emergency service workers safe, so we’ll be keeping a record of every assault and death that occurs as a result of this decision to scrap Sydney’s life-saving alcohol measures. Government’s need to be held accountable for their decisions. 

“It’s disappointing that the Premier seems to have ignored much of the evidence in favour of the unfounded and deluded view that to have a ‘vibrant’ city you need to ply people with alcohol. 

“Emergency service workers remember what things were like before the life-saving laws were put in place, and while we’ll hope more than anyone that today’s announcement doesn’t mean we’ll see a return to those days, unfortunately we’re not confident.” 

“It’s good that the measures are being kept in place in Kings Cross, but it’s incredibly disappointing to see them wound back in the CBD and to see suggestions that Newcastle’s laws are also now up for review.”