A review into Sydney’s controversial lockout laws is currently underway, spearheaded by judge Ian Callinan. The review is inviting stakeholders, including the city’s beleaguered publicans, to give their two cents on how this whole lockouts thing is going.
As Pedestrian.tv reports, amongst those submissions is one by iconic Kings Cross haunt World Bar, which has been hit harder than most. Once one of the Cross’s most popular destinations, business has slowed considerably since the lockouts were introduced.
This isn’t just another case of anecdotal conjecture by a frustrated venue owner. World Bar management have submitted a detailed overview of just how the lockouts have affected business, estimating that overall revenue is down 25 percent in just two years.
This is largely a result of the laws’ 1.30am lockout stipulation, but there are also endless exorbitant costs the venue has taken on as a result of the divisive late-night laws. According to the World Bar’s own balance sheet, management are forking out an extra $224,900 per year.
That sum, which is significant in an industry where margins are razor thin, has gone to the implementation of ID scanners as well as their regular maintenance, RSA officers, upgrades to their CCTV equipment, and a spike in insurance costs due to their classification as a “high risk” venue.
Image via Pedestrian.tv
The venue is also required to submit data about their alcohol sales, costing them $3,000 annually. “This has been done for two years now with no explanation as to why. Surely whoever has the data has enough now. It is a timely and costly exercise for venues to do,” management write.
The World Bar’s submission also makes numerous suggestions for how policy could better address the issue of alcohol-fuelled violence, which is after all the reason why the laws were implemented in the first place, but without serving as a bane to publicans.
Venue management suggest implementing better transport infrastructure in the Kings Cross precinct, bolstering the area’s police presence, providing better education about drinking and drugs, the introduction of a Night Mayor, and placing the blame for violence on the individual.