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Nervous wait for emergency services as ‘life-saving’ lockout laws are repealed

Sydney’s controversial lockout laws will end on Tuesday, allowing entry to licensed venues after 1:30am for the first time since 2014.

Last drinks will be moved from 3am to 3:30am, and bottle shops will be permitted to trade until midnight. Lockout laws will still apply in Kings Cross.

For emergency responders, “it’s a matter of waiting to see what happens,” says NSW Police Association Acting President Kevin Morton.

The laws were introduced with the aim of curbing alcohol-fuelled violence, following the one-punch death of teenager Daniel Christie.

Mr Morton tells John Stanley police are concerned the violence could swiftly return.

“These are life-saving laws.”

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Director of the Keep Sydney Open campaign Tyson Koh says “some of the concerns are exaggerated,” and the repeal is key to giving Sydneysiders a “holistic lifestyle”.

“It’s not just about going to pubs and clubs, but it’s about going to restaurants, it’s about being able to shop until late, being able to go to theatres and galleries.”

The lockout laws are estimated to have cost the Sydney economy $16 billion per year.

“Let’s face it, the tourist dollar relies on us to be providing that unbelievable atmosphere,” Mark Levy weighed in.

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Image: Getty/Adam Davies


John Stanley