Changes to Sydney’s lockout laws are positive but need to go further

Changes to Sydney’s lockout laws announced today by the state government are a step in the right direction but need to go further, peak industry body Alcohol Beverages Australia has said.

“The alcohol beverages industry welcomes minor changes to lockout laws, the extension of takeaway and home delivery alcohol sales and the changes to encourage small bar operators – but there are further opportunities for more balanced reforms,” Alcohol Beverages Australia Executive Director Fergus Taylor said.

“Businesses in Sydney and across NSW are being unfairly punished by these restrictions and we look forward to working with the Government to achieve more positive change.

“Restrictions on opening hours and continuing to limit the availability of alcohol doesn’t stop problem drinking. Pushing back lockout and last drinks times by 30 minutes are a step in the right direction but these blanket measures continue to punish responsible drinkers instead of those that cause the problems.

“Behavioural change will not be achieved by continuing with a policy of placing the blame on business operators and wholesale restrictions on the entire community. It’s possible to provide a safe and vibrant night-time environment by implementing strategies that go beyond curfews.

“If the government truly does want to create a ‘safer and more vibrant Sydney’, it should look at implementing a range of different measures, including changes to policing and public transport within the lockout zone and become less fixated on curbing nightlife and the activities of responsible drinkers with arbitrary cut-off times.”

Alcohol Beverages Australia is the peak industry body created to highlight the positive social, cultural and economic contribution of alcohol beverages in Australia, and promote, explain and defend the legitimate rights of the industry and the 15 million Australians who drink responsibly.


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