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Sydney Man Brilliantly Sums Up Everything That Is Wrong With City's Nightlife

4 February 2016 | 12:52 pm | Staff Writer

Thanks to those pesky lockouts.

Following on from yesterday's news, in which a report revealed that foot traffic in some of Sydney's most popular hot spots has rapidly decreased following the introduction of the lockout laws, a businessman has written a lengthy opinion piece slamming the government for destroying the city's nightlife. 

In the article posted to his LinkedIn account entitled, 'Would The Last Person In Sydney Please Turn The Lights Out?', Matt Barrie writes, "A succession of incompetent governments has systematically dismantled the entire night time economy through a constant barrage of rules, regulation and social tinkering."

Barrie targets the lockouts as one of the biggest factors contributing to the decline of Sydney's social scene. 

"A special little person has decided that there is a certain time at night when we are all allowed to go out, and there is a certain time that we are allowed into an establishment and a certain time that we are all supposed to be tucked into bed," Barrie writes.

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"There is a certain time we are allowed to buy some drinks, and over the course of the night the amount of drinks we are allowed to buy will change. The drinks we buy must be in a special cup made of a special material, and that special material will change over the course of the night at certain times. The cup has to be a certain size. It cannot be too big, because someone might die. Over the course of the night, this special little person will tell you what you can and cannot put into your cup because someone might die."

All photos taken by Matt Barrie

Barrie refers to the City Of Sydney report released late last month which shows an alarming decrease of the amount of pedestrians in areas such as Kings Cross and Oxford Street on the weekend in 2015 compared to 2012. 

The report states that by 1am on a Saturday evening, the Kings Cross precinct had experienced a 55% decrease in the amount of foot traffic. 

"This has set off a domino effect which has wiped out Sydney’s main entertainment precincts- if one venue closes in an area, it’s likely the venue next door will also close, and so on," Barrie says of the 1am lockout law.

"Once the late night club is closed in a street, the bar where people used to meet before will close because there’s nowhere to go after, shortly followed by the restaurants that people usually ate at before going to the bar, and so forth. Until, as in so many places in Sydney today, the area is devoid of any commercial activity.

"If the Government was truly interested in your safety and not purely on a moralistic crusade, there are plenty of other things that are more dangerous to your health," Barrie argues. 

"Did you know that on average an Australian dies every three days in Thailand? You are far more likely to die falling over, out of bed or off a ladder than in anywhere near a licensed venue in Sydney. But from all the masterful propaganda you've been fed, you've been tricked into thinking that you have done something wrong, in some way that you are genetically an idiot, or that somehow you have to feel responsible for a couple of random tragic, yet unrelated, events that occurred in the vague proximity of having fun."

Barrie turns his attention to the NSW Liberal Government who introduced the laws in 2014.

"The NSW Liberal Government disguises banning things as policy because it makes them look tough in the news and distracts the public from the fact that they actually have no policy other than religious dogma and trying to buy off marginal seats for the next election," he writes.

"Rather than expending a little bit of energy trying to figure out something beneficial to the economy like, I don’t know, say actually growing it, The NSW Government finds it far more easy to just ban something, introduce yet another fine or increase a fine on an existing rule which doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world (except New Zealand, who copied us), and is known to be stupid and counterproductive in the first place by 350%. This is merely taxation by stealth."

Barrie also suggests the "deeply held views" of some of the government's leaders including Premier Mike Baird, who is an openly devout Christian.

"Christians notoriously blame the victim, whether it be rape or assault," he writes.

"NSW Police Commissioner Scipione, also a well known teetotaling evangelical, is on the public record expressing views that equate to believing that girls who drink are responsible for putting themselves in a position to be raped.

"The world is moving ahead, rapidly," Barrie concludes.

"Sydney is not just being left behind, it's regressing into the dark ages."