Sydney CBD Lockouts Begin February
We are just a week away from the implementation of the new liquor law reforms in New South Wales, meant to help combat alcohol fuelled street violence in the state.
As announced by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell the liquor law reforms will commence on Monday 24th February – next week.
As of Monday, venues in the Sydney CBD Entertainment and Kings Cross Precincts will be forced to implement a 1:30am lockout and a 3am last drinks call. Throughout the state, liquor stores and take-away alcohol will have to halt at 10pm.
The following legislative measures will apply as of the 24th February 2014
Creation of the new Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct;
1.30am lockouts enforced at hotels, registered clubs, nightclubs and karaoke bars across the Sydney CBD Entertainment and Kings Cross Precincts;
3am cease service of alcohol in those venues across the Sydney CBD Entertainment and Kings Cross Precincts;
Introduction of temporary banning orders for troublemakers in the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct;
A freeze on new liquor licences and approvals for existing licences across the new Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct; and
A ban on takeaway alcohol sales after 10pm across NSW.
O’Farrell announced the new laws and that the government was unapologetic for the tough new measures which businesses and patrons will have to adjust to in order to improve the safety of the CBD for everyone. He was also quoted as saying:
“I expect the vast majority of venues will do the right thing and implement the new trading conditions without incident. However, any failure to comply can result in fines of up to $11,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months – and is an offence that can incur a strike under the NSW Government’s Three Strikes disciplinary scheme,” he said.
Another measure to be implemented is the information and awareness campaign to be launched to target both licenced venues and consumers will be rolled out to alert them to the new measures. The new measures will also include notification to affected licensees, briefings for liquor accords and industry peak bodies, signage and flyers for licensed venues and advertising.
O’Farrell also said a plan of management is being developed for the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct which will include special licence conditions on licenced venues as of April this year which would include a range of conditions such as bans on glass, drink restrictions and requirements for Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) marshals.
Another important measure which has been implemented already is free buses running every 10 minutes from Kings Cross to the CBD to connect with the existing NightRide services on Friday and Saturday nights.
It is believed that the state government decided to go ahead with the strict new measures after mounting pressure from the public who were becoming increasingly frustrated with the amount of violence on our streets in the CBD and entertainment districts.