Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 3 Mar 2013.
The tragic death of 18-year-old Thomas Kelly in Kings Cross last year led crime researcher Linda Scott to call for earlier pub closing times to curb the violence. “The longer the opening hours and the more premises in an area serving alcohol, the more likely the violence.”
Ms Scott said while politicians and others called for more cameras, and stiffer penalties for offenders, what Sydney needed was to force pubs and clubs to comply with license restrictions, or face closure.
New data shows that 70,000 Australians are involved in alcohol-related disputes each year, and the estimated cost to emergency services is around $15 billion annually.
Trials in Newcastle have shown that measures such as earlier pub closing times, lock-outs, and restrictions on the sale of high-alcohol content drinks late at night can significantly reduce alcohol-related violence. It’s time for the NSW Government to extend the trial to other parts of the state.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.