Glass ban and drink limit planned for Kings Cross

Image for Glass ban and drink limit planned for Kings Cross

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.


Comments arrow left

katiecunningham said on the 15th Aug, 2012



Romie said on the 15th Aug, 2012

This is fucking stupid typical band aid solution that tackles the symptons and not the not problem which is unacceptable drunken behaviour. How about they let people be responsible for their actions and increase the penalty for drunken crimes instead of letting them off the hook because they were "drunk". How I see it is if you are a douche bag when you are drunk you are most likely still a douche bag when you are sober.


josh_goods said on the 15th Aug, 2012

by the end of this everyones really going to hate thomas kelly, he's being used as a reason for everything they've ever wanted to do


Bombalia said on the 15th Aug, 2012

The glass idea makes sense for SOME venues. But if I'm paying $15 for a Amaretto Sour I want that served in a cold glass not a crusty plastic cup. Maybe it should be based on capacity.


Morecowbell said on the 15th Aug, 2012

Here's my solution...all venues in the Cross should be subject to an accord that requires communication amongst all door security, in all venues. Anyone who is turfed out of one club cannot enter another and is ordered to leave the bounds of Kings Cross within a fifteen minute period. Legislation is then required to give police further powers to arrest anyone who fails to do so.
Communication between venue security and police is paramount here. This would allow venues to retain a degree of autonomy over how their business is run, without being subjected to out of touch, knee-jerk council reactions to a much wider social problem than in-venue drinking. Keep the dickheads out of the clubs, then out of the Cross entirely (where the majority of incidents occur). More police, more cooperation, both in AND out of the clubs. How does the banning of glassware bear any relation to violence on the streets of the Cross?


mikeblades said on the 15th Aug, 2012

HARSH penalties for violent offenders....were way past giving them warnings and probation......If you throw a punch (and are convicted in court) then it should be a MINIMUM of 6 months in jail......that will make alot of the idiots think twice #mandatormysentencing4crossviolence


ticketsplease said on the 15th Aug, 2012

So stupid Barry O%u2019Farrell loses money betting on the instant replay.


josh_goods said on the 15th Aug, 2012

just before anyone reacts badly, i mean absolutely no disrespect to thomas kelly or his family... but imagine being them and seeing their son or their friend or their brother being used an excuse to do all this shit. soon enough they'll realise the MP's that sent flowers were just doing so to exploit this unfortunate event with a clear conscience


i_have_ADD said on the 15th Aug, 2012

isnt it kind of absurd that the truly horrible incident they're using as the scapegoat to introduce all this shit happened at 10pm, two hours before any of these measures would even come into play on your average saturday night.


nickbrauer said on the 15th Aug, 2012

Just goes to show waht a nana state Sydney has become. Always reactive to a tragedy, and never pro-active to a problem.

I live in London, and it's a rule for bartenders to ask if you would like a double when you order spirits, no matter what time of night. Hell, they even produce a festival strenght coder at 7%.

Sucks to be in Sydney.


sounds_echoed said on the 15th Aug, 2012

Just goes to show waht a nana state Sydney has become. Always reactive to a tragedy, and never pro-active to a problem.

I live in London, and it's a rule for bartenders to ask if you would like a double when you order spirits, no matter what time of night. Hell, they even produce a festival strenght coder at 7%.

Sucks to be in Sydney.
It's not a problem limited to Sydney. Brisbane also suffers from some pretty bad laws one of which is the 3am lockout rule that pretty much leaves people especially drunken idiots (in Brisbane's case, drunken bogans) fighting for a taxi in long lines as train services that run to most of these suburbs where the bogans live don't start until after 5am.


walkdogz said on the 15th Aug, 2012

No shots after 2 or 3 am is reasonable, but midnight? Lots of nights just start then, especially for young people working hospitality that knock off then and go out.


pomrocks said on the 15th Aug, 2012

using plastic cups and not serving shots / only serving 4 drinks at a time isnt going to do will just end up sculling the 4 drinks themselves if they cant get shots....

if the govt really want to change peoples mindset they have to try to change the bevhaviors....they have RSA laws in place, if they were actually enforced these properly and harsher penalties were brought in place for violent actions maybe them people would think twice about starting fights etc.


james223 said on the 16th Aug, 2012

More visible police presence, 24/7 transport (cabs, trains etc) so not every cat and dog is trying to get home at the same time. Have places open for longer so the flow of people isn't full on 3-4am..

But their own RSA legislation, poor view of the issue, lock outs and other shit makes it worse than it has to be.

This legislation on alcohol means it costs them nothing and don't have to do much to actually address the issue. typical aus politics. And this will only entice more drug use and crime.


pomrocks said on the 16th Aug, 2012

that would also be a big help....

Dr Bones

Dr Bones said on the 16th Aug, 2012



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=""]Australian Institute of Criminology's 2009 paper on the issue is a really good starting point.


Chemo said on the 16th Aug, 2012

I said it before, I'm saying it again: Why is it that all those lovely countries in Europe where you can drink out in the streets all night and alcohol is readily available anywhere, are the ones where no one glasses others or bashes each others up? On a recent trip through Europe (France, Spain, Germany...), the first place where I witnessed some drunk idiots fighting outside a pub was- the UK, where they got similar stupid liquor and licensing laws as over here. Go figure!

Dr Bones

Dr Bones said on the 16th Aug, 2012

I mean, if you want the honest answer, it's probably because we're hardwired to be a bunch of obnoxious, violent cunts.


User_267412 said on the 16th Aug, 2012

A really well rounded argument AND reponse by Cass Wilkinson. Mayeb she should be the Lord Mayor.


Mickstah said on the 16th Aug, 2012

Another swing and miss.


jessbingham said on the 17th Aug, 2012

just have to double dump then


polite_society said on the 21st Aug, 2012

They already did this in Perth, and it didn't really change anything imho. It just means you can't get shots. They've been doing the same thing with energy drinks.

It's like they want people to pre-drink and be fucked up before they even make it to the clubs. Let's get our violence on as early as possible, then we can all go to bed by midnight.