Sep 8, 2019

Premier has jumped the gun on alcohol laws says Keep Sydney Safe

Media release, 8 September 2019: Keep Sydney Safe, representing emergency services in Sydney, says Gladys Berejiklian’s reported announcement that modest alcohol restrictions on bars, pubs and clubs in the CBD – with some exceptions for King’s Cross – will be scrapped is premature.

“This pattern of unilateral decision taking, given the report of the Joint Select Committee on Sydney’s Night Time Economy hasn’t been revealed to the public yet, is concerning,” says Keep Sydney Safe spokesperson and President of the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation Dr Tony Sara.

“The committee’s process isn’t being respected and nor is the input and evidence presented by submitters. At this stage, given the Committee’s report is being effectively ignored, we have no idea of how they have balanced known risk factors or projected what it will take to preserve safety.

“We call on the Premier and Parliament to release that report immediately so the public see how Committee members have interpreted our modest alcohol laws vis-a-vis an already vibrant city – a city that is less focused on alcohol and more focused on socialising with events such as the current Sydney Fringe Festival.

“As frontline and hospital-based emergency services workers, we know too well from firsthand experience what the consequences of dismantling the modest laws, in particular the 3am cessation of service and ending midnight restrictions on serving shots will be. When the assaults figures rise we trust the Premier will take accountability.

“This premature announcement reeks of bowing to pressure from the ‘star power’ of pub baron Justin Hemmes who has people jumping to his throwaway lines about Sydney being a ghost town.

“That is absolutely misleading and flies in the face of Sydney just last week gaining third place in rankings for the world’s most liveable cities, gaining three spots to be just behind Melbourne, alongside it gaining fifth place as one of the world’s safest cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit.”

The Keep Sydney Safe position is clearly set out at lastdrinks.org.au. The Keep Sydney Safe/Last Drinks coalition represents NSW emergency service workers and includes doctors, police, nurses and paramedics.