Michael Thorn, FARE: Lockout laws are keeping Sydney safe
Michael Thorn, the Chief Executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), has published an Op-Ed in The Daily Telegraph, addressing attempts to roll back alcohol regulations that helped reduce violence in Sydney nightlife:
Sydney’s lockout laws have only been in place for two years and rates of violence and hospital emergency department presentations are down. The action of the O’Farrell government in February 2014 achieved what health and law enforcement experts promised. Yet, here we are two years later talking about abandoning these lifesaving measures. What have we accomplished?
The lives of those who live and visit Kings Cross have been transformed. Police, diverted to act as taxpayer-funded crowd controllers for pub and clubs, can return to fighting crime.
The evidence of medical experts shows the longer the hours of trading, the more alcohol harm. The lesson from Sydney’s world-leading lockout laws is that alcohol harm has been reduced. The smart thing to do is to apply what we have learned more widely. As we have done with road safety, disease control and terrorism.”