If you’ve ever wondered what the famed 6 o’clock swill sessions of the 1960s looked like, you won’t have to wait too much longer for a modern day version.
The NSW Government’s decision to introduce a blanket ban on shots, doubles and RTDs (ready to drink beverages) after midnight in the Cross is a sure-fire way to artificially change drinking behaviour. With a new midnight deadline, drinkers will take on a last drinks mentality in the half hour before midnight. It won’t make a lick of difference to the drinkers who can carry on drinking the usually cheaper alternatives of beer, wine and cider but you can bet one thing; you’ll see more dangerous drinking and faster intoxication, all before midnight.
A midnight swill is surely not what the Government intended but that’s why experts call such things an unintended consequence.
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Like many, I was shocked to hear of the death of Thomas Kelly enjoying his first night out in the city with friends.
The vibrant nightlife is one of the many things I love about living in Sydney’s inner city. From performance venues and outdoor events to restaurants and bars (big and small), the city shines after dark. But unfortunately, stories of nights out being marred by booze related violence are all too common.
Literature on alcohol related crime tells us that two of the most reliable predictors of alcohol related violence are the trading hours and the density of licensed premises.
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Since the terrible death of Thomas Kelly early last week Sydney has been caught up in an emotional debate about alcohol, street violence, Kings Cross, drug use in the area, gym junkies, late-night transport, licensing laws and policing.
And then this morning outside court a supporter of Thomas’s accused killer Kieran Loveridge allegedly responded to the attention of the media scrum by pushing a Channel Nine camera man to the ground. According to news reports the camera man was still barely conscious 20 minutes later when he was loaded into an ambulance.
While the community hand wringing over societal issues such as the myriad raised in the first par has its place, if the reports about this morning’s events outside court are true perhaps we’re all being a bit too “big picture” about violence.
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Bad stuff happens when you drive stolen cars on the footpath.
The footage over the weekend of two Aboriginal youths - both bleeding from bullet wounds and being dragged from a car in Sydney’s Kings Cross - is hard enough to watch from the comfort of your loungeroom. Imagine being the police officers now accused of “shooting at little kids”.
The driver and passenger, just 14 and 18, had been shot after the allegedly stolen vehicle mounted the footpath and ran down a 29-year-old woman.
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I can still remember the hope and optimism of the delegates to the Carr Government’s 1999 Drug Summit.
People with widely divergent views came together to find better ways to deal with drug addiction and the problems it brings. On much there was agreement, but the resolution to trial a medically supervised injecting centre was the subject of heated debate.
It was of little surprise that yesterday’s announcement by the NSW Government to end the “trial” status of the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Kings Cross again triggered serious discussion. Our decision was not taken lightly.
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