The owner of one of Sydney‘s most popular nightclubs, Murat Kilic, has slammed the draconian lockout laws that are slowly but surely killing the city’s nightlife in an epic keynote speech at the IMS Asia-Pacific 2015 conference.
“When Huan Antonio sang out the famous words, ‘The winner is Sydney’ about the 2000 Olympics, for the first time in my life I felt a real strong sense of identity, and I was proud to be from Sydney,” said Kilic, a DJ, club promoter and former owner of the now-closed Spice Cellar. “Now, I’m actually embarrassed.”
The tragic coward’s punch deaths of Thomas Kelly in 2012, and Daniel Christie in 2014, in King’s Cross brought “unprecedented media attention,” he said.
“Everyone was in agreeance that something needed to be done. But the government took direct aim at late trading venues, despite the attacks taking place outside venues, and taking place at 9pm.”
Since the lockout laws have come into affect, dozens of venues have been forced to close, foot traffic in Kings Cross has dropped by 84%, and incidences of violence in nearby Newtown (which has no lockout laws) have increased by 18% (Source 1 / Source 2.) (Although tbqh with you it seems like pokies are the way to the NSW Government‘s heart, because 16 pubs have been granted exceptions for entry after 1:30pm so punters can feed the slots. WAY TO KEEP THINGS ABOVE BOARD, GUYS.)
At one point, Kilic basically delivered a eulogy to Sydney’s after-hours culture, once thriving:
“Sydney had one of the most exuberant nightlifes in the world, it seethed with energy. The nighttime culture was effervescent, sun-infused, and excitingly awake. It better mirrored our personality, and indeed, much of the personality and charisma of the Sydney Olympics was driven by that same spirit.”
“Things can’t get much worse, so things can only get better,” he said, which we will happily raise a post-3am bevy to, mate.
Source: IMS Asia-Pacific 2015.