New alcohol laws: overkill or overdue?

State Parliament will be recalled this week to  pass laws designed to curb alcohol and drug-fuelled street violence. Will the plan work? The Advertiser asked our police, MPs, publicans and young people their thoughts.

MACARTHUR has had a mixed reaction to tough news laws about drug and alcohol-affected single-punch assaults.

Wollondilly police and MP Jai Rowell have welcomed legislation that will come before State Parliament on Thursday.

Menangle House Horse and Jockey Inn owner and manager Greg Nixon says the changes won't affect Macarthur.

The proposed changes include 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks for the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross, and an eight-year mandatory minimum sentence for drug and alcohol-affected single punch assaults.

Premier Barry O'Farrell said he had been horrified by recent attacks.

"l've heard the community's call for action and I'm confident this package of measures . . . will make a difference."

Mr Rowell said the tough measures aimed to send a clear message the government would not tolerate people who "coward punch". "As a local member, I have no sympathy for thugs and cowards if they do that type of stuff," he said.

Camden local area commander Superintendent Ward Hanson applauded the government's proposed laws.

"Hopefully it leads to a reduction in reported incidents of alcohol-related crimes," he said.

He said Wollondilly did not have major problems with alcohol-related assaults or violence.

State opposition health and alcohol spokesman Andrew McDonald will support the legislation, which he said was a good first step.

He said he was concerned about the exemption for restaurants and small bars and that the laws would apply only to inner Sydney venues.

 Proposed laws

- 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks for  Sydney CBD and Kings Cross.

- An eight-year mandatory minimum sentence for drug and alcohol-affected single punch assaults.

- A 10pm closing time for bottle shops and liquor stores in NSW.

- The maximum sentence for the illegal supply and possession of steroids will be increased from two years to 25 years.

- On-the-spot fines for continued intoxicated and disorderly behaviour and disobeying a police move-on order will be increased  to $1100.

- The government will seek to remove voluntary intoxication by drugs or alcohol as a mitigating factor when courts determine sentences.

Comments