Doctors Reject Syd Lockouts Review, Say Even Tiny Changes Are “Too Risky”

In case ya missed it, the results of the review into Sydney‘s lockout laws dropped yesterday, and we’ll be honest: it’s a pretty modest document. If you’re keen on hearing that the lockout laws are going to be struck down and that a gigantic 24-hour megaclub will be built right in the centre of the city, you will be disappointed.

Instead, former High Court judge Ian Callinan recommended that maybe, just maybe, we could loosen the lockout laws by half an hour on a trial basis, and only if they’re music venues. So, not huge.
But there’s already backlash to even that minor change. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons has hit back at Callinan’s modest proposals, saying that any relaxation would be too great a risk and should not even be considered.
“We know that each hour in trade results in significant increase in domestic violence statewide,” said Dr John Crozier. “That, in the view of the College of Surgeons, is not a justified risk.”

Not all organisations had the same take. The Australian Hotels Association reckons the recommendation to loosen the restrictions on takeaway alcohol sales is pretty ace – we agree! – but are annoyed that the proposed extension of the lockouts only applies to music venues.
We don’t support blanket measures that unfairly penalise many safe, well-run venues with a proven track record of compliance,” said John Green, the AHA’s NSW director of liquor and policing.
It still leaves to be seen whether the NSW Government will take the recommendations on board, minor as they are. Mike Baird is yet to issue a statement on the issue, though his statements in the past indicate he pretty strongly supports the laws as they currently exist. Duh.
Photo: PEDESTRIAN.TV / Chloe Sargeant.