News State NSW News Labor wants tougher booze laws

Labor wants tougher booze laws

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NSW Labor wants to lock out people from Sydney pubs and clubs in the early morning and to restrict the hours licensed premises can serve drinks to help reduce alcohol-fuelled violence.

The state opposition says it is committed to restrictions in Kings Cross and the Sydney city centre that would stop patrons being admitted to venues after 1am.

It also wants 3am last drinks and bans on high-alcohol content drinks after 10pm.

Opposition Leader John Robertson told reporters the measures were about cutting alcohol-related violence.

“It’s about stopping the punches being thrown,” he said on Sunday.

“Alcohol-related violence is a growing problem and as a parent … I’m always worried about Friday and Saturday nights.

“We need to make sure that we’re actually changing behaviour of young people.”

He said the changes would build on a trial in Newcastle that had cut alcohol-fuelled violence by about 30 per cent.

Labor also wants police numbers and public transport boosted during weekends in Kings Cross and the city centre, and is proposing a late-night shuttle to transport revellers from Kings Cross to Town Hall.

Labor would also set up an independent liquor regulator, introduce risk-based licensing, target premises selling alcohol to minors and improve the collection of alcohol sales data.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) welcomed what it called “Labor’s positive shift on alcohol policy”.

“While we would have liked to have seen 3am closures, last drinks at 3am is a step in the right direction,” AMA president Brian Owler said in a statement.

“We are also pleased to see risk-based licensing in the strategy.”

Police Association of NSW president Scott Weber says the proposals put pressure on the state government to act.

“The NSW government is the only thing standing in the way of these vital measures being put in place,” Mr Weber said in a statement.

“Alcohol-fuelled violence … will only get worse over the coming summer months unless the government takes action.

“These measures are proven to work.”