Thousand sign petition against new drink laws

Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Olding

Young partygoers have ridiculed the NSW government’s raft of measures to tackle alcohol-related violence, accusing Premier Barry O’Farrell of killing the city’s nightlife and vowing to post petitions on the doors of nightclubs.

Andrew Levins, DJ and owner of The Dip restaurant at the late-trading Goodgod nightclub, which will be subjected to 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks, joked on Twitter that the state government should have spent money on a ”don’t be a f–kwit campaign” to address men’s behaviour rather than impose draconian rules on revellers.

Two petitions campaigning against the lockouts and last drinks cut-off collected thousands of signatures within hours on Tuesday afternoon.

Both petitions said the trial would affect thousands of ”innocent individuals” who work in hospitality, including club owners, tour promoters, DJs and bar staff.

”These measures unfairly penalise venues and not the individuals inflicting violence on innocent revellers,” video jockey Grant Muir posted in an online petition. Music promoter, DJ and Kings Cross resident Sasha Skalrud said the new restrictions would lead to a proliferation of illegal warehouse parties.

”Illegal parties will start happening by the handful. Underage kids will attend these parties because there won’t be anyone there to stop them. These parties won’t have RSA Marshalls and bar staff who’ll be able to cut off their alcohol supply once they become intoxicated,” he wrote on dance website inthemix.com.au.

”There will be no police or security guards to stop the fights that will inevitably break out.”

A 2000-strong Facebook group called Save Our Nightlife was distributing copies of the petitions to put on nightclub doors and was planning to spread flyers in Kings Cross and organise a protest.

One member of the group, Chris Sinclair, posted: ”RIP Sydney: 1788-2014”.

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