The NSW branch of the Australian Hotels Association says it welcomes tougher sentencing for alcohol-fuelled “thugs” announced by Premier Barry O’Farrell.
But it is sceptical about lockouts in the Sydney city centre and mandated “last drinks” at 3am.
“The organisation wholeheartedly welcomes tougher sentencing for thugs and official recognition of the role drugs play in night-time violence,” the AHA said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We do not believe tens of thousands of people will stay in licensed premises past 3am once alcohol is no longer served, but will instead be out on the streets looking for a way home. The government will need to address this new issue.
“Lockouts and closures in the Sydney city centre will also have an undeniable impact on the night-time economy, penalising businesses that are well run and have had nothing to do with the recent violence.”
Premier Barry O’Farrell announced the extensive reform package on Tuesday following the death of alleged one-punch victim Daniel Christie after a night out in Kings Cross on New Year’s Eve.
He said parliament would be recalled early to pass a one-punch law, which would carry a 20-year maximum sentence, a minimum eight-year sentence and a 25-year-maximum where drugs and alcohol were involved.