New South Wales Parliament resumes today, with tough laws targeting alcohol-related violence on the agenda.
The legislation was announced after public pressure following the deaths of two teenagers, who were killed in unprovoked assaults.
Premier Barry O’Farrell has the numbers in the Lower House to push the measures through, though will require help from other members of the Legislative Council. He doesn’t think this will be a problem. From The ABC:
“I’m confident, given the support, that shouldn’t be a problem,” O’Farrell said.
“We’re in the hands of the Legislative Council, but my message to all members of the Legislative Council is that the community’s demanded tough action.
“These are tough measures and I would encourage them to give them the priority that they deserve.
“We want to have, in particular, the one-punch, the death by assault legislation, in place and operational by this weekend.”
The new laws have been described as a knee-jerk reaction to media-fuelled public outrage. Members of the legal community say they will result in unfair jail sentences, and commentators have lambasted them as an attack on public rights.
The measures include a new precinct in which bars are subject to lockouts and restrictions on their operating hours. They also prevent bottle shops staying open after 10pm, as well as mandatory eight-year jail sentences for drunken assaults that result in deaths.
You can find the full list of measures here.
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