The debate about the Sydney lockout laws has remained alight since the topic first hit the table back in 2014, but recently, the needle has been moving in the direction of the other side. In December 2016, it was decided that an extra 30 minutes would be granted to some hand-selected live entertainment venues. It allows them to serve alcohol until 3:30am and welcome new patrons until 2am. While this shows that the power to overturn the lockout laws does exist and is strong in its efforts, people still aren’t happy. The 30 minutes is said to make little difference of any sort. Sydney residents are worried for their city, with many feeling that the Sydney lockout laws are causing the city to become desolate.
The lockout laws have done little more than show us that general laws punishing everybody for the actions of few simply don’t work. The solution needs to be a focal effort in cracking down on the kind of people that perpetuate such violent acts and a stronger punishment, perhaps. There’s more impact than just some unhappy bar-goers, and the NSW government needs to take action before Sydney’s economy is impacted in an unsalvageable way. Residents aren’t the only ones that need be concerned. Not having a nightlife with a strongly beating heart is also a serious deterrence to would-be Sydney tourists.
The hope is that lawmakers will come up with another solution and overturn the Sydney lockout laws, and areas like Kings Cross and the CBD will once again be hubs for nightlife – only without the violence. Perhaps the laws will act as a “warning shot” type of punishment for patrons, and cause them to think twice before committing violent acts again. Perhaps, like children, people will be deterred from such acts if they know the result is a complete damper on their ability to have a good time. One can only keep their hopes for the area’s revival up, and wait to see what happens next.