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New polling suggests NSW residents want lock-out laws to remain

According to research conducted by YouGov Galaxy, there is “overwhelming” public support for closing times of no later than 3am for pubs, clubs and bars.

In the wake of hearings to review the success of Sydney’s late-night measures, polling suggests that more than four in five residents support the measures brought in under the Baird government, which have “drastically reduced violence and serious injuries in Sydney’s entertainment precincts over the past five years”, said the NSW/ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAAPA).

The YouGov Galaxy also found that 76 per cent of NSW residents believe more needs to be done to prevent alcohol harm, 71 per cent support stopping the sale of alcohol 30 minutes before closing time, 73 per cent support ID scanners and 63 per cent support placing a limit of four drinks on the number of drinks a person can purchase at one time after 10pm.

NAAPA spokesperson and Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education CEO Michael Thorn said the poll findings “challenge and override the noisy, narrow opposition to the measures”.

“The NSW government can be confident it has achieved the right policy settings knowing that 84 per cent of people support a closing time for pubs, clubs and bars of no later than 3am,” he said.

“There is also widespread support for the policies among young people with 90 per cent of 18-34-year-olds supporting a closing time for pubs, clubs and bars of no later than 3am.”

The poll results are “proof the balance is right for Sydney’s long-term future as a vibrant city”, NAAPA said.

“Altering, diluting or terminating these measures would be directly at odds with community sentiment and would disregard their concerns and opinions,” Mr Thorn said.

“Not only have the measures reduced alcohol harm, they have encouraged a positive shift in culture as the night-time economy expands and flourishes in a healthier, safer environment.”

The broader Sydney community agrees that their “vibrant, inclusive and prosperous nightlife is no longer dependent on the dangerous oversupply of alcohol”, Mr Thorn continued.

NAAPA noted it still has concerns that Sydney still has a “very dark mark that needs to be addressed”, and it recommended that the “successful late-night measures” be rolled out across the greater Sydney region.

“Assault rates in Sydney remain higher than the state average, but worse, there is a devastating increase in alcohol-related sexual offences occurring on weekends,” Mr Thorn said.

“While ever this horrific pattern of violence continues, there will never be a right time to weaken Sydney’s late-night measures and backslide to indulging the vested interests of the alcohol industry over the health and safety of the people.”

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