Release: NSW Lockouts Failure Revealed - New Report

Key Findings

  • Lockouts have either failed or had little impact on violence in cities across Australia and the United States

  • Lockouts have displaced crime to other areas, intensified violence in existing areas by simply lowering foot traffic, encouraged irresponsible drinking in unmoderated environments, and forced pub patrons out on the streets where they are more likely to be victims of violence.

  • Lockouts have devastated small business, resulted in severe job losses, and deprived Sydney's economy of a $16 billion a year boost.

  • Liquor laws must punish wrongdoers. Not the millions of responsible revelers who want to have a good time, the hardworking businesses they patronise, or their workers.

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, a 75,000+ member grassroots advocacy group representing the country’s taxpayers, today released their submission to the NSW’s inquiry on Sydney’s night-time economy and called for the Berejiklian government to abolish Sydney’s lockout laws for good.

By November last year, 428 licensed liquor venues had bitten the dust since the NSW lockouts came in.” said Satya Marar, ATA Director of Policy. “And this figure doesn’t even include the numerous restaurants, cafes and other establishments which have gone broke since the laws caused foot traffic in the city to drop by 40% in many areas, up to 80% at night-time peaks.

Our submission outlines how lockouts have done little to nothing to make Sydney safer. Declines in violence have followed the same trend in place before the lockouts. If foot traffic is accounted for, the lockouts may even have intensified violence in existing hotspots while pushing much of it to surrounding areas.

“But our research goes further. Lockouts have failed in Melbourne, Brisbane, Ballarat, the Sunshine Coast, and in 400+ US cities with similar laws where they’ve placed handbrakes on the night-time economy, yet shown no correlation with rates of crime, violence or binge drinking.

“Even the evidence pushed by pro-lockout nanny state lobbyists shows that they have encouraged more pre-drinking and drinking at home or in other unmoderated environments where irresponsible or anti-social behaviour is more likely.

“The only winners have been wealthy property developers, casino owners, and yuppies with ‘can I speak to the manager’ haircuts who’ve bought up fancy apartments where businesses have shut down. They now walk their poodles down once trendy streets that resemble a ghost town by night.

“Allowing Sydney’s nightlife to thrive as it does in world cities like London and Amsterdam could add over $16 billion to our economy while our streets can be kept safe with targeted, effective interventions that don't punish hardworking businesses and bar staff or the vast majority of Aussies who drink responsibly and don't act out. The evidence is clear. It’s time for Gladys to give lockouts the boot for good.”

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Brian Marlow