A review into Sydney’s lockout laws, released yesterday, has proposed a 30-minute extension to getting into bars and last drinks.
But the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons say relaxing the lockout laws in any way is a risk.
As part of the report, former High Court judge Ian Callinan says the lockout laws have made Kings Cross and Sydney’s CBD “safer, quieter and cleaner” and therefore recommends that the current 1.30am lockout and 3am last drinks measures for live entertainment venues should be extended by 30 minutes to 2am, and 3.30am under a two-year trial.
But according to Dr John Crozier, a RACS Trauma Committee chair, “Now is not the time to water down these effective laws, which have reduced alcohol-related harm.”
“We know that increased trading hours result in increased harms, therefore even a half-hour increase carries too high a risk,” he said.
“For every additional hour of trading after midnight, there is a 16-20 per cent increase in assaults. Conversely, for every hour of reduced trading there is a 20 per cent reduction in assaults.”
Dr Crozier also suggesting extending trading hours for takeaway sales of alcohol from 10pm to 11pm was a bad idea.
“There are links between takeaway sales of alcohol and non-intentional injury. Violence in homes increases by 26 per cent for every extra 10,000 litres of alcohol sold. Retention of the reasonable 10pm restriction on takeaway liquor sales will reduce domestic violence and child abuse,” he said.
“Ultimately it is surgeons and other medical professionals who see first-hand the extent of the problem and have seen the dramatic benefit of the legislation.
“Now is not the time to water down these effective laws, which have reduced alcohol-related harm.”