1.30am lockout for Sydney CBD pubs and clubs
Nightclub and pub patrons in the Sydney CBD will be subjected to new 1.30am lockouts under sweeping changes announced by the NSW Premier to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence.
Under the changes, venues will be prohibited from serving alcohol after 3am.
A freeze on liquor licences for new clubs and pubs will also come into force.
The new restrictions will apply to licensed premises across a new expanded Sydney CBD entertainment precinct, which stretches from Circular Quay to Haymarket to Kings Cross, the NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell said.
SX understands that the measures will apply to venues in Darlinghurst and Oxford Street.
Across the state, bottle shops will cease trading at 10pm.
Small bars, tourist accomodation and restaurants are said to be exempt from the new laws.
The Premier also announced tough new penalties including mandatory minimum eight-year sentences for fatal one-punch assaults resulting from alcohol and drugs.
"It is not acceptable that people should go out, get intoxicated, start a fight and throw a punch and think they will get away with it," said O'Farrell.
"Under these measures they will face tough consequences.
O'Farrell is expected to call NSW State Parliament back early next week to vote on the laws. With the support of the opposition, the laws should come into effect by February 1.
Further reforms include:
- Free buses leaving every 10 minutes from Kings Cross to the CBD on Friday and Saturday nights;
- 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);
- An increase from two years to 25 years' maximum sentence for the illegal supply and possession of steroids.
O'Farrell said there is no simple answer to the city's alcohol fuelled violence issues but part of the solution will include community education.
The government has committed to a multimillion dollar education awareness campaign.