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Sydney CBDs new Drinking Laws

Discussion in 'Politics' started by JSRF10, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. JSRF10 Dick Tooth (41)

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    I’d be interested to hear people’s opinions on the new laws announced today by Barry O’Farrell to try and combat the 0.01% of people ruining everyone else’s nights out. The main points of the new laws are:

    . Lock outs at 1.30am, closing at 3am for all pubs and clubs in CBD/Kings Cross/Rocks/Cockle Bay
    . More laws in relation to assaults: mandatory minimum sentences would be introduced for other drug- or alcohol-fuelled offences, including reckless wounding (three years), assaulting a police officer in the execution of duty (two years), affray (four years) and sexual assault (five years)
    . Bottle shops closing at 10pm
    . Voluntary intoxication will be removed as a mitigating factor in sentencing
    . Free buses leaving every 10 minutes from Kings Cross to the CBD on Friday and Saturday nights;
    . A freeze on liquor licences for new clubs and pubs (with small bars, restaurants and tourist accommodation exempted);
    . Increased on the spot fines for anti-social behaviour (eg, from $150 to $500 for offensive language and from $200 to $500 for offensive behaviour);
    . Increase from two years to 25 years' maximum sentence for the illegal supply and possession of steroids;
    . A ‘‘road safety-style’’ social media and advertising campaign targeted at alcohol fuelled violence;

    Now I’m not the kind of bloke who is out till 6am every weekend but I have been known to do it on a special occasion, is it really necessary to force every boozer to stop serving at 3am? Sydney is an international city and if you go to any other major city centre in the world you can have a beer whatever the time of day. I do like the option of having a beer whenever I want and I’m definitely in a camp where I don’t like the government telling me what I can’t do even though I’ve never broken the law in this regard.

    I can see a few more problems with it; will this not force any violence issues out to suburbs where pubs can stay open later? Also my home city has closing at 1am everywhere and from 1 to about 3 its chaos as everyone staggers out onto the streets looking for cabs. Staggered closing hours should have been brought in I think; if your pub has problems with RSA or violence you close earlier. Also its been brought on off the back of a couple of pretty horrific drunken assaults (not coward punches, not king hits, they are drunken assaults) which occurred well before these closing times. From what I gathered Melbourne CBD tried something similar a few years ago but ditched it after it realised it wasn't working.

    Free buses from Kings Cross to the CBD, what is this about? It’s just exporting the problem! Now instead of lads fighting over taxis in the Cross they’ll be doing it in front of the QVB. These buses should be going to major population and transport centres all across the city, Parramatta, Central, North Sydney etc.

    Minimum sentencing could work but from my opinion of seeing its impact in the US of A it’s a slippery slope.

    All in all the new laws seem like they aren’t going after the symptom, and will probably cost the hospitality industry some valuable $$$ in tough trading times. The state governments has pandered to a vocal minority IMO and are passing laws which prohibit the choices of the majority of the responsible population to deal with issues of a small sub set. Obviously there is no easy answer to guys getting pissed, taking drugs and punching each other but this is the wrong road to be going down.
    spikhaza and Slim 293 like this.
  2. fatprop David Wilson (68)

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    How does this stop the 9.00pm king hit?

    I still haven't known of someone in a fight who didn't have the opportunity to walk/run away
  3. Eyes and Ears Arch Winning (36)

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    I am not an expert on this nor is this my opinion but there is a view that early closing times result in people getting to the bars earlier which means less loading up at home and therefore less violence.
  4. Runner Nev Cottrell (35)

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    I suspect the Newcastle solution works because of the cluster effect of pubs and clubs. Sydney has the cross but beyond that the rest of the CBD and other spots have pubs and clubs which Newcastle doesn't have. Still why be out at 3 am on a regular basis getting full is beyond me.

    The law being mandatory says something to me about the judiciary. Judges have over time become removed from the normal stream of life and are making decisions which are way out of line with the community. refer to any major paper about some sentences given over the last two years.

    Do RBT buses, where you can have your licence cancelled if your way over, stop it happening? In some countries like Sweden on a third driving offence you go to jail for up to a year and people get caught.

    Lawyers with interesting defences also along with the Parliament which creates the laws/or removes good laws (e.g. summary offences) allows people to feel they can get away with things e.g. Singleton and his speeding, Sandilands and his radio show have changed societies expectations of the acceptable. The people involved are of that new generation 16 to 30 who these events have influenced their attitudes where personal responsibility is not the expected norm.

    Speaking to my dad about the history of the 6 o'clock swill time when people would order 3 beers as closing time came close. They thankfully didn't have the shot mentally or the Breezer drinks that girls are into and getting as bad as the guys. There were fights but not this king hit stuff or the kick his head when he is on the ground stuff.

    To me contribution factors have developed with bottle shops being everywhere including supermarkets, sports sponsorship and the like making alcohol seem like any product like soap. Perhaps a bit of the cigarette approach of restriction's on sales, alcohol levels etc. could help.

    Agree with JSRF 10 about buses and this comment
    All in all the new laws seem like they aren’t going after the symptom, and will probably cost the hospitality industry some valuable $$$ in tough trading times. The state governments has pandered to a vocal minority IMO and are passing laws which prohibit the choices of the majority of the responsible population to deal with issues of a small sub set. Obviously there is no easy answer to guys getting pissed, taking drugs and punching each other but this is the wrong road to be going down.
  5. Lindommer Andrew Slack (58)

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    The government had to do something (and be seen to be doing something). EVERY suggestion the government put up was poo-pooed by vested interests in the liquor industry, mostly the AHA. As one would expect. The Newcastle experiment has undoubtedly decreased alcohol-influenced violence in that city so it's reasonable for the government to try some aspects of this tried-and-tested solution.

    As a supplier in the liquor industry I'm a very interested observer in any legislation the government puts forward here. The advent of the small bars legislation in NSW these last six years has been wonderful progress; the AHA simply can't understand why anyone would want to sit in a tiny bar sipping Chardonnay (or whatever) without getting blasted by a TV or poker machine noise. Que? But the power of the two big retailers and the growth of the mega bottleos surely has been the major change over the past two decades. There's no doubt young headbangers get juiced up on RTDs or spirits BEFORE they hit the fleshpots and start flinging their fists around. I thought the various Liquor Acts were originally passed to regulate the liquor industry, yet Colesworth seem to get everything they want and fight fiercely to keep liquor prices as low as possible.

    Having said all this I have no objection to the introduction of time limits on licensed premises; WTF anyone needs to be loading up on shots or whatever at 3:00am is beyond me. Whomever said nothing good happens after midnight certainly has a point.
  6. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    I am interested to see what effect these new laws will have. I'm not convinced they'll make a massive difference but I think they could have some impact.

    I certainly disagree with the mandatory sentencing element of it as mandatory sentencing has been a complete failure in every jurisdiction it has been employed in.

    BOF's comments about people being able to continue to dance the night away and enjoy a soft drink after 3am is a complete joke. The only places that are going to remain open after 3am if they can't sell alcohol are pokie dens. Of course the casino is also exempt from these restrictions. Nothing bad has ever happened there. o_O

    Of course there is an element of this being mass hysteria where the reaction doesn't match the problem, similar to the WA shark attack reaction.

    Two people die from alcohol related assaults and we have mass changes of our laws and liberties. Around 70 people (mostly women) in Australia are murdered each year by their spouse and little is done.
    JSRF10 and Slim 293 like this.
  7. I like to watch Simon Poidevin (60)

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    A spike in BOF's approval rating.That is after all what these new laws are designed to do.
    Offensive language fine to increase over 300%, yep that will be a game changer!
    BPC likes this.
  8. JSRF10 Dick Tooth (41)

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    As I said it won't affect me (unless there is a sporting event from home I want to watch with mates) but I still don't get the blanket ban on booze after 3am, this will cause mayhem on the streets with thousands on the street with no public transport and limited taxis. Staggered closing times and a limit on serving of shots along with a commitment to get the train system running 24/7 over the weekend would have been a better solution

    The owners of the casino, Pyrmont Bridge Hotel and the numerous 24h bars around Central Station all of which are a matter of metres outside this exclusion zone will be delighted!
  9. Runner Nev Cottrell (35)

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    Two people die from alcohol related assaults and we have mass changes of our laws and liberties. Around 70 people (mostly women) in Australia are murdered each year by their spouse and little is done. Brave heart 81

    When O'Farrell was asked about this last night he said the laws would apply in all situations including domestic violence.
  10. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    I don't think mandatory sentencing for king hit deaths is going to have much impact on domestic violence.

    I also don't think 1:30am lockouts will either.
  11. Eyes and Ears Arch Winning (36)

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    I believe that they find trains problematic in terms of violent incidents and trying to prevent them with security staff. As a result, the plan is more around buses from the Cross to the city and then night buses from the city to the suburbs. I would have thought that the 3am cab changeover would also be a problem.
  12. barbarian Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    Reason why trains are out is to do with safety and security. Opening up tunnels at KX, Town Hall, Wynard etc. brings a whole range of issues if something goes pear shaped. Also trains are longer and harder for cops to patrol. Easier to keep everything above ground at that hour, and buses take up far less resources than trains.

    Hopefully these laws will have people going out earlier and pre-loading less, which would be a very good thing. These days big nights out in the city generally start at 10-11 and end at 4-5. If we can shift that forward a couple of hours I reckon the city will be a fair bit safer.
    Bullrush, Inside Shoulder and Scoey like this.
  13. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    So the part of the mandatory sentencing I didn't see previously is that it isn't just for assaults that occasion death.

    The other planned mandatory sentences are:
    • assault occasioning bodily harm (two years)
    • reckless wounding (three years)
    • assaulting a police officer in the execution of duty (two years),
    • affray (four years)
    • sexual assault (five years)
    • assault occasioning death (eight years)
    This will be an unmitigated disaster and will cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Eventually the laws will get repealed because the state will be going broke.

    This is so stupid.
    I like to watch likes this.
  14. Runner Nev Cottrell (35)

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    All the lobby groups seem very happy with this package of items.
  15. barbarian Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    Except the AHA...
  16. Gnostic Mark Ella (57)

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    The issue of mandatory sentences is very interesting and speaks volumes about the state of the judiciary. A read of the thread I started on the Criminal Justice system, prompted by the same event that these changes have now brought about.

    The fact of the matter is that in nearly all of these "one punch" deaths there is no intent to kill, so murder cannot be the appropriate offence, and hence the DPP decision to alter the indictment to Manslaughter. The court has that discretionary power legislated in the Crimes Act as well.

    18 Murder and manslaughter defined
    (a) Murder shall be taken to have been committed where the act of the accused, or thing by him or her omitted to be done, causing the death charged, was done or omitted with reckless indifference to human life, or with intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm upon some person, or done in an attempt to commit, or during or immediately after the commission, by the accused, or some accomplice with him or her, of a crime punishable by imprisonment for life or for 25 years.
    (b) Every other punishable homicide shall be taken to be manslaughter.

    The bolded part can be difficult to prove beyond reasonable doubt and hence the option to prosecute for manslaughter and achieve a conviction and avoid the real possibility of a not guilty verdict and not having the option of proceeding again.

    My point in my usual long winded style is that there is absolutely no need for these new laws. Perfectly adequate laws covered all these offences and provided for punishments up to and in some cases exceeding what is now being proposed. The problem is purely one with the judiciary not meeting the expectations of the law abiding public and hence the knee jerk reaction from the politicians. The Law Society and the Bar really need to look to their own behaviour and actions that have led to this unnecessary political action. I would also add in their the previous DPP coming out attacking the Government is a bit rich as under his administration victim's (groups) were often left fuming as they had effectively no representation on their day in court whilst he was in that position.

    The problem I have with mandatory sentencing is that people in exceptional circumstances will get caught up in this and there is no discretionary power left. An example in another mandatory setting is the listing of the 18 year old boy having sex with his under age girl friend as a child sex offender. It is outside the intent of the law but it still happens and destroys the individual involved. It will happen here, all because the judiciary do not apply the laws as they currently stand.
    BPC likes this.
  17. Gnostic Mark Ella (57)

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    Apart from the mandatory sentencing laws I have no problem with the other proposals. Indeed I would go further like having closing times on all venues. No 24 hour trading. At the latest it would be 2am. No bottleshops after 8pm. To buy alcohol you are supposed to be an adult and if you can't get your shit together and get organised before 8 you really shouldn't add grog to that problem.

    Strict enforcement of service requirements on venues.

    New laws are not required. If the current laws were enforced you would hear a lot of screaming about the "draconian" actions of the state. Enforcement requires not only Police and Licencing Board action, but support and strict action from the judiciary. See above.
    BPC and Train Without a Station like this.
  18. Runner Nev Cottrell (35)

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    Gnostic a very clear outline. Thank you.

    Could I suggest from the social point of view something mentioned by my kids. Programs like Geordie Shore which is one among a number which highlight excessive drinking etc. and Big Brother where alcohol is everywhere. Curb them
    Bullrush likes this.
  19. ChargerWA Mark Loane (55)

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    The real answer is social education of children. As an 80's kid I was bombarded with "slip, slop, slap", "drink drive you're a bloody idiot" and "belt up, OK".

    When you think about society's attitudes to those 3 issues they have come light years in a generation. The losers who operate outside of society's values will still do as they please and not care when they endanger the lives of other people, but any improvement is a big improvement.

    This UFC stuff has to be looked at carefully too. We have seen violence blamed upon heavy metal, movies and video games which I largely reject! But UFC is violently assaulting another person. People emulate the people they look up to. And these gutter snipes who coward punch other people are the sort of people who lack the mental capacity to differentiate a violent contest (a contest with rules agreed to by the combatants) and punching someone not ready for it. They just see the the opposition falling over as winning and don't care if they have to cheat to win.
  20. The Raging Potato Allen Oxlade (6)

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    Should the same laws be applied to such offences on the rugby field???

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