Read the best submissions to the lockouts review

The Callinan review into Sydney’s lockout laws was flooded with more than 1800 submissions from individuals and organisations last month, and you can now read all of the public submissions online.

It seems that few things can get Sydneysiders as riled up as the current lockout laws – the last time the government invited submissions on the topic of reducing alcohol and drug related violence, only 113 were received.

The submissions range from the detailed, like lockouts-hero Matt Barrie’s 2000-plus word submission, to the potently concise, like the community supporter who simply wrote:”save lifes”[sic]. And while many of them are fist-pumpingly inspiring, some of the opinions offered are just depressing, like the concerned resident couple who advised, “In my day there was 10pm closing and everyone was much safer. I say bring back 10pm closing.”

Many of the submissions are unsurprising: medical associations want the lockouts to continue, and so does The Star Casino, although it thinks it should continue to be the sole major venue exempt from the laws. And some of them contain the unexpected, like the anti-alcohol Australian Drug Foundation, which thinks that 3am last drinks are far more useful than the 1.30am lockout.

You can read all 1800+ of the submissions over here, but to save you time we’ve gone through and picked a handful of the best and most inspiring submissions to the lockouts review.

Future Classic

“We’d like the Government to do something meaningful to address alcohol related violence. However, please listen to the many voices across the community who are telling you the current lock out laws are not only not solving the problem they were created for, but are additionally having a detrimental impact on Sydney’s culture and economy. Like you, we care about Sydney being a safe city, but we also want to nurture the cultural fabric and economic viability of music in Sydney.”

Jane Gazzo, TV and radio presenter 

“Dear Sydney, I think we both know these lock out laws are ridiculous and make you the laughing stock of the world. Let’s scrap them and start again. They are not helping anyone. It was a knee‐jerk reaction and it has solved nothing but it has caused a whole lotta new problems for small businesses, taxis, live music, and made Kings Cross a ghost town. There are 100 other things I could tell you about why this is/was a poor decision but it has been well documented in most media. Let’s make Sydney great again. Dump the lock‐out.”

Tim Ritchie, radio DJ 

“I’m an elder of the Sydney entertainment scene. I was on air on Double and Triple Jay from 1976 to 1990, and a club DJ from the mid ‘80s to the mid ‘90s. Sydney was a great town. There was a vibrancy and a sense of freedom and camaraderie that made it a fun and quite safe place to work.. and to go out.

There were drugs and alcohol, bouncers and punters ‐ but very little in the way of the problems that seem to be attributed to the start of the system of closing down the city early each night. So rather than use a blunt tool like shutting doors and limiting movement, please look into the cause of the problem rather than shutting down Sydney at night 7 days a week.

I now get up at 4am rather than go to bed at 4am ‐ but I still want a city that makes me proud to call home. And if you want to see how much I love Sydney ‐ the details below will take you to my ongoing photo essay of love to my city that I add to each day as I cycle around my best friend ‐ Sydney.

Adam Bozetto, Heaps Decent, wordlife

“I work for a music charity ﴾﴿ that travels NSW and NT making music with underprivileged youth in community centers and juvenile justice centers. One of the Heaps Decent students said to me the other day, ‘Why you city people complaining so much. So what, you can’t get drunk after 1.30am, big deal’, and I had to tell him this.

“Since the lockout laws I have lost about 50% of my DJ income. Due to this it might be hard for me to pay my music studio rent so will most likely have to give it up. I will most likely have to look for daytime work therefore I will be making less music. That means that we (the student and I) can’t make music anymore and Sydney loses two more of its artists. I hope that this doesn’t become disheartening for you (the student) and I hope that you can keep you mind on the right path.”

Alex Greenwich, Member for Sydney

“The vast majority of people don’t cause problems when they go out at night; they are out to enjoy themselves, socialise, watch a show, dance to music, try new food, and belong to a scene, and they must be able to do this, however measures are needed to ensure that night trading is safe. We must get the balance right to ensure that Sydney’s late night economy is safe, civilised, diverse and vibrant.”


Next page