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Mike Baird Defends Lockout Laws: 'It's Going To Take A Lot To Change My Mind'

9 February 2016 | 1:25 pm | Staff Writer

Better luck next time, Sydney.

With the NSW Government preparing to review the state's lockout laws, Premier Mike Baird has defended the controversial legislation, just a week after a local businessman penned an opinion piece citing how the laws have negatively impacted Sydney businesses and its nightlife

In a Facebook post shared today, Baird described calls for the end of lockouts as "growing hysteria". 

"The main complaints seem to be that you can’t drink till dawn any more and you can’t impulse-buy a bottle of white after 10pm," Baird writes.

"I understand that this presents an inconvenience. Some say this makes us an international embarrassment. Except, assaults are down by 42.2 per cent. And there is nothing embarrassing about that."

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Baird goes on to highlight the positives that have come from the lockouts being introduced in 2014. 

"Doctors right across the city are now telling us that they are seeing far less emergency room presentations on the weekends," he writes.

"Transport workers are telling us that the trains are safer. Small bars and restaurants are opening across Sydney. And residents across the city, particularly women, are telling us they feel safer walking home at night.

"Over the coming months a detailed review into the effects of the lock-out laws will be undertaken. I await this work with interest. But as I’ve said before, it is going to take a lot for me to change my mind on a policy that is so clearly improving this city. Now some, who wish to define our city by one street on Kings Cross, make the hysterical claim that Sydney is dead. They couldn't be more wrong. This is the greatest city in the world and it is now safer and more vibrant than ever."

Read Baird's full statement below. 

Baird's comments come on the back of a report released last week which shows that some of the city's most popular hot spots have taken huge hits in regards to foot traffic since 2012, while a large number of bars and clubs have been forced to close their doors due to financial struggles since the laws were brought in.

 

Let’s start with a statistic about Sydney’s nightlife that matters: alcohol related assaults have decreased by 42.2 per...

Posted by Mike Baird on Monday, 8 February 2016