Glass ban and drink limit planned for Kings Cross

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Sydney club district Kings Cross has once again been at the centre of media interest over the last month, following the death of 18-year-old Thomas Kelly in an unprovoked assault. We recently went in-depth on the flow-on effect for clubs in the Cross, gathering the perspectives of venue owners and promoters. While calls for better transport options and an increase in the street presence of police patrols have been at the centre of the discussion, Hospitality Minister George Souris also launched a four-day compliance audit of 58 venues in Kings Cross.

Now, according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald, a proposed change announced by the state government will see shots and doubles banned after midnight and no glassware in all Kings Cross licensed venues. The proposal was raised by The Premier, Barry O’Farrell, in question time. Under the new measures, no more than four drinks will be able to be bought at any one time after midnight. The Cross venues have until 3 September to respond to the proposal. As O’Farrell is quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald article: “The unfortunate conclusion is that in the Cross, you will continue to be sold alcohol until you are so drunk you are thrown out – and the problem is transferred to the streets.” We’ll have more as the story develops.

On Wednesday 1 August, Time Out Sydney and FBi Radio staged a forum, Cross Roads: What’s next for Sydney nightlife, with inthemix Editor Jack Tregoning on the panel alongside Lord Mayor Clover Moore, sociologist Dr James Arvanitakis, Small Bars Association president Martin O’Sullivan, FBi Radio’s president Cass Wilkinson and Matt Noffs from the Ted Noffs Foundation. You can see some of the opinions aired in the ten-minute video edit below.

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dirtyepic

dirtyepic said on the 16th Aug, 2012

Mikeblades - criminologists tend to agree that mandatory sentencing is bad policy. Flexibility in considering the context of offending is a fundamental part of our criminal justice system and to take that away generally does only a little to reduce rates of violent crime and the costs that come with it (e.g. the few prospects of rehabilitative services whilst imprisoned and a disturbingly high rate of recdivism) far outweigh whatever small reductions in crime come with it.

While I don't live in Sydney and I have no idea what the clubbing scene there is like, if the practises set out in the RSA are being flagrantly ignored to the extent that the audit commissioned by the NSW government asserts, I don't particularly have a problem with this legislation. I guess. Banning shots after midnight is a bit heavy, though, and I would prefer to see an more education-based approach rather than just the banhammer, but hey. There is plenty of evidence out there to suggest that alcohol is a significant factor when it comes to violent crime in the city and it seems to mostly be a culture thing - punitive reponses to alcohol-fuelled violence are not necessarily the most effective response to the situation (although it's arguable it could act as a somewhat effective deterrent), an attempt to educate people about the problem and steps to change the culture of getting super-duper pissed is. For anybody interested in further reading on the issue, the [URL="a href="http://www.aic.gov.au/en/publications/current%20series/rip/1-10/04.aspx"]Australian Institute of Criminology's 2009 paper on the issue is a really good starting point.