Amongst a raft of tweaks in the new Liquor Regulation 2018, which took effect 1 September, NSW Liquor & Gaming has mandated that any venue required to maintain an incident register will also need to ensure they record incidents involving “possession or use on the premises of any substance suspected of being a prohibited plant or drug”.
Keep Sydney Open, though an admirable institution in terms of organisational prowess and populist appeal, isn’t necessarily looking to compromise on the laws. That’s where City Safe comes in. An initiative spearheaded by AusComply, this anti-lockout laws proposal takes what some have described as a more even-handed approach to O’Farrell’s lockout law legislation.
A lobby of roughly 20 Sydney hoteliers and other stakeholders has formed the City Safe proposal – a strategy that will see manifestly compliant venues push for exemptions to lockout legislation. Jason Thomas and Clive Dillen, directors of AusComply, have volunteered to work as the public faces of the City Safe movement.
Australia’s tightening focus on social harms related to drug and alcohol use are forcing stricter controls that rely on unqualified workers to make what is almost a medical diagnosis. “The problem with the legislation as it is, people get angry because they are kicked out from a venue when they know they are OK, because the venue is scared of being seen to do the wrong thing,” says AusComply’s Jason Thomas.
Research out of NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has confirmed the displacement of violence from Sydney’s ‘locked out’ entertainment zones, further confirming the flaws in the laws. Displacement of alcohol-fuelled violence to precincts around the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross has shown a statistically significant increase – 12 per cent in the immediate surrounds and 17 per cent in some nearby precincts.
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