An anti-lockout law group in South Australia, Late Night Venue Association of SA (LNAVSA), recently made some super intriguing claims about the state’s lockout laws, and are calling for another review of SA liquor licensing codes.

The group, which is made up of members from venues such as Zhivago, Rosemont Hotel, HQ and Red Square reckon the 2015 review Adelaide Late Night Code was manipulated in order to make the lockout laws seem a helluva lot more successful. 

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While the Code that came out showed that the lockouts as extremely successful, the group managed to get a draft copy of the review through Freedom of Information – which stated the complete opposite. 

In the draft, it stated that the Code had not resulted in a “strong decrease in late night alcohol-related offending behaviour”.

The government in SA have previously that the lockout laws, which bans patrons from entering venues after 3am in SA, have lowered alcohol-fuelled violence by 25%.

LNAVSA‘s president, Tim Swaine, says that the government and/or the police have purposely changed the wording of the review in order to make the lockouts much more effective than they actually are: 

“In the end the report was, in our view, drafted in such a way to give an impression that in fact the lockout had been effective.

The trend before the lockout was introduced was that there was a decline in crime in the Adelaide CBD area and the lockout is actually irrelevant to that general trend.”

Deputy Premier John Rau is adamant that the lockout laws have lowered violent incidents caused by alcohol, and are therefore creating a safer city:

“The Government accepts the clear advice of police and SA Health, the introduction of the Late Night Code has helped improve public safety.

Data provided by SA Health highlighted a significant drop in Emergency Department presentations for alcohol and body injuries in 2013-14 compared with the previous two years.”

But Swaine says that the lockout laws are unpopular, and says LNAVSA believes the laws do not and have not made Adelaide safer:

“Our members tell us that the lockout laws are bad for business, and as a result of a community survey conducted as part of the review, patrons don’t like the lockout laws. 

We don’t think the lockout laws are contributing anything to the safety of the city.”

The LNAVSA have now made a submission to the independent review of the SA liquor licensing laws, outlining “the issues [that were] not raised” in the 2015 documents. 

They have also offered to meet with the reviewer in order to present their submission and the “evidence-based liquor licensing policy” that the group supports.

We’ll keep you updated on this story as more information arises. 

Photo: The Adelaide Set / Facebook.