Gladys Berejiklian has blind sided us all with the surprising decision to review the lock out laws. The news broke quite unexpectedly this morning, five years on from when the blanket lock outs were introduced to curb alcohol related violence.
The NSW Premier who was recently re-elected said, “after five years of operation, it makes sense for us to now take stock and examine whether any further changes should be made”. Well known shock jock and angry old white dude Alan Jones has become an unlikely ally in the fight against the laws. On his radio show this morning, he went on a rant saying: “These laws have crippled business and crippled Sydney as an international city. It’s reputation has been damaged. They should be abandoned. Open up the city.”
Gladys indicated that there’ll be a cross-party committee set up to review the laws with the report due on the 30th of September. There’s been strong opposition against the laws in NSW from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, The Greens (who were to table legislation late last year) and if The Labor Party’s leader ends up being Chris Minns, he’s indicated they’ll be against the laws as well.
Earlier this year accounting firm Deloitte Access Economics crunched the numbers and found with some more support, Sydney’s nightlife could be generating a whopping $16 billion more for the city per year.
We’ve seen glimmers of hope against the lockout laws with relaxation around this years Mardi Gras and even a local club being granted a 4am licence. However, we are still at odds as to whether this is a political chess move or a genuine inquiry. We remain cautiously sceptical on the outcome, having seen the way Gladys has worked in the past.