Some 1,000 protestors gathered for a demonstration in Sydney on Saturday to protest the NSW government’s lockout laws and their preferential treatment to the city’s two casinos.
As Nine News reports, the march from the heart of the city to Star Casino and the Barangaroo district culminated with protestors leaving a giant prop turd on top of the Star City sign.
Despite its official status as the city’s most violent venue, Star City continues to enjoy an exemption from the late-night laws which enforce 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks.
The James Packer-owned casino currently under construction at Barangaroo is also exempt, which has led to NSW Premier and lockout laws defender Mike Baird being dubbed “Casino Mike”.
Saturday’s protest, which was organised by Reclaim The Streets, who held a well-attended rally back in September, saw many demonstrators carrying “Casino Mike” signs and pickets.
However, the centrepiece of the protest came when demonstrators hoisted “The Mike Baird Memorial Turd” onto the giant ‘STAR’ sign that sits outside the controversial Pyrmont venue.
“These casinos have brought their way into a free pass, while at the same time funnelling all of the late night trade into their highly lucrative gambling halls,” Reclaim The Streets previously wrote.
“We are marching to the casino to highlight the gross hypocrisy of the government and the craven interests of The Star and Crown Casino.”
According to data collected by APRA-AMCOS, the Australian royalties collection body, ticket sales by live performance venues in the Sydney CBD have declined by 40 percent since the lockouts.
This, coupled with an 80 percent drop in foot traffic in lockout-affected areas, has resulted in the closure of 42 venues, bars, cafes, nightclubs, and restaurants.