The NSW government will discuss ways to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence during its first full meeting of the year following weeks of pressure to act.
Premier Barry O’Farrell on Thursday announced that cabinet would consider a suite of measures to reduce incidents like the one-hit attacks responsible for the tragic deaths of two Sydney teenagers, Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie.
The proposals to be considered by cabinet include better alcohol licensing regulation, boosted police resources and penalties targeting those who commit crimes while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Several community and professional groups and the NSW opposition favour the “Newcastle solution”, under which shots are prohibited after midnight, a 1am lockout is enforced and last drinks are poured at 3am.
The federal Greens have called for a Senate inquiry into drunken violence.
They have been pushing for an inquiry into the promotion and advertising of alcohol but Senator Scott Ludlam believes it should be broader and look at the “epidemic” of booze-fuelled bashings.
“I don’t think there has ever been a better time to look at what measures the Commonwealth can take to reduce the horrific impact on people’s lives and on families,” he told reporters on Sunday.
But NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson says he didn’t want the premier “hiding behind yet another inquiry”.
The premier, he said, must announce early lockouts in drinking venues.
“All the experts, whether it’s police, ambulance officers or the other health professionals dealing with this problem, all know the solution to this is the Newcastle solution,” he said.
Pressure has been mounting on Mr O’Farrell to take action following the death of Mr Christie, who died in hospital when his life support was switched off 11 days after a king-hit attack on New Year’s Eve at Kings Cross.
Mr Christie’s alleged assailant, Shaun McNeil, is facing murder charges.