O'Farrell defends new booze rules
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell answers questions regarding new legislation that aims to reduce the alcohol fuelled-violence in Sydney. Nine News.PT2M25S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-317nm 620 349 January 22, 2014
How will the new alcohol measures affect me on a night out in the CBD?
You will need to be inside a pub or club within a designated area of Sydney's CBD by 1.30am. If you arrive at 1.31 am, expect a bouncer to send you on your way. You will not be let in.
What if I'm already inside the pub by the 1.30am lock-out time? How will it affect me?
New laws: NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell. Photo: James Alcock
You will be able to buy alcoholic drinks as usual until 3am, when last drinks will be called. There will be no alcohol sold after 3am.
So does that mean pubs and clubs in the designated area will close at 3am?
No, it doesn't. The venues are free to remain open, they just won't serve alcohol. Whether they choose to remain open when they're not making money over the bar remains to be seen.
So what specific area in the CBD are we talking about?
The rules apply to venues within a new precinct stretching from Kings Cross to Cockle Bay, The Rocks to Haymarket and Darlinghurst.
Will all venues in this area be affected?
No. Venues exempt from these restrictions are small bars with a capacity of fewer than 60 patrons, restaurants, and bars within "tourism accommodation", such as large hotels.
Venues at Barangaroo, including James Packer's planned six-star hotel and casino, also will be exempt.
So what if I want to have a night out in a suburb just beyond the designated boundary. Will it be subject to the new rules?
No, it will be business as usual in suburbs outside the boundary, including Elizabeth Bay, Rushcutters Bay, Paddington, Surry Hills, Chippendale, Darling Harbour and Pyrmont.
For example, at 3am you could leave the CBD and cross the Pyrmont Bridge and still get a drink at the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel.
If lots of people are leaving the city at 3am, how am I going to get home?
Free buses will leave every 10 minutes from Kings Cross to the CBD on Friday and Saturday nights. Some have raised concerns that there will be more people competing to hail taxis at 3am, a time when the majority of taxi drivers are changing shifts.
These are pretty big changes. Maybe I'll just stay home and have a drink there.
That's one option. But if you're doing so, get to the bottle-o before 10pm. All bottle shops across the state will close at that time under the reforms.
What if I don't want to abide by the new rules?
Then expect a big hit to your hip pocket. Under the changes, a drunk person who refuses a police order to move on and continues to act in a disorderly manner will be fined $1100, an increase of more than five times the previous fine.
If your behaviour escalates and you assault a police officer trying to arrest or fine you, then you will be sentenced to at least two years' prison.
When will these changes start?
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell says he hopes the changes will be operating by the end of April, if he can get them approved by Parliament.
Is there any chance the government will change its mind?
The measures will be independently reviewed after two years.
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