A survey of over 23,000 people has revealed a shocking insight into how Sydney-siders really feel about the city’s lockout laws.
The survey conducted by global lifestyle network The Socialites showed that a resounding 77 per cent of respondents rated the Baird government’s decision making as ‘inadequate’, matched with a one-star rating.
Participants of the survey strongly disagreed with almost every law affecting Sydney’s nightlife, with a startling 69 per cent wanting the entry lockout time abolished and a further 52 per cent agreeing that the alcohol takeaway ban should be removed.
Founder of The Socialites Ace Mamun said the “vast majority” of the respondents voted for change.
“We were quite surprised by the sheer momentum of the survey, and just how large it actually grew,” Mr Mamun told Yahoo!7.
“The issues of the lockout was shrouded by far too much confusion, disagreement, and polarization.
“Our aim was to cut through the noise and the anger, to more clearly define where those who've been affected stand.”
The 28-year-old author and entrepreneur said the survey sends a clear message to law-makers.
“It is not a problem that will be resolved without an effective response from the government to address these concerns,” he said.
“This seems to indicate that a unilateral reaction from the government affecting hundreds of thousands of people, without consulting with or any actual feedback from those it impacts, is not something Sydney residents deem acceptable.”
NSW Premier Mike Baird has been slammed over the controversial laws, which has turned Sydney into a ‘ghost town’ according to several scathing online rants.
Last month Sydney businessman Matt Barrie published an 8000-word rant about the laws that ‘destroyed the soul of the city’.
Mr Barrie said the amount of foot traffic in the King’s Cross district fell a massive 84 per cent between 2012 and 2015 and forced the closure of about 42 bars, clubs and small businesses.
“Walk up Bayswater Road, Oxford Street or the Golden Mile and club after club is closed; not just after 1.30am, but permanently,” he wrote.
“A few months ago the perennial Flinders bar in Darlinghurst closed. Then the century-old Exchange Hotel shut down, which held six venues including the Phoenix, live music hall Spectrum, and the upstairs pool hall Q-Bar. Following that, the evergreen Goldfish bar in Kings Cross. Then Soho.
“In Sydney, you can’t even have a beer in the sun enjoying a game of lawn bowls anymore without the NSW Government wanting to shut it down. You can’t go for a workout in the park without the Government imposing a curfew.”
Despite the heavy criticism, Mr Baird has continued to stand by his laws, even admitting that his decisions have put his teenage daughter in the firing line.
“My daughter is 19 and she was barraged about the lockout laws,” he said during an appearance in Miranda in February.
“From the outset these laws have been about fixing a serious problem. Violence had spiralled out of control, people were literally being punched to death in the city, and there were city streets too dangerous to stroll down on a Friday night.”
Three ‘roundtable’ meetings are scheduled to take place over the next three months to review the legislation between stakeholders, including business owners, police and paramedics.
A campaign to overturn the laws has been gaining momentum over recent weeks, but Mr Baird is being backed by a band of doctors, nurses, paramedics and police who say alcohol-fuelled violence has “fallen off a cliff” since the legislation came into effect.
The first roundtable meeting is scheduled for March 31 followed by one on April 28 and then May 19.
The final review is expected to be released in August.
News break – March 30