Hoteliers are urging drinkers and revellers in Sydney this weekend not to take their frustrations out on hotel staff as new lock-out and last-drinks laws are enforced.
Australian Hotels Association NSW spokesman John Green says the weekend, including Saturday’s Mardi Gras celebration, will be the first big test of the state government’s new measures.
Under the new rules, which target drug and alcohol-fuelled violence, Sydney CBD and Kings Cross licensed premises must serve last drinks at 3am and enforce a 1.30am lockout.
Mr Green said hotels would be working closely with police to ensure the new law was enforced.
“That having been said, we have real concerns that frustrated people may take it out on staff when refused entry at 1.30am and refused drinks from 3am,” he said in a statement on Friday.
He said those in a queue for a crowded pub from 1am needed to understand that once 1.30am ticked over, no one else was allowed entry.
“People should remember, regardless of what we think, the law is the law. Hotel staff are only complying with the new rules set down by the government.
“We’ve always been sceptical that blanket lock-outs won’t work in a city like Sydney, and this week a former senior Victorian public servant involved with the failed Melbourne lock-out confirmed that view.”
Mr Green said his association believed lock-outs just forced more people out onto the streets where the violence happened and when trains weren’t running.