By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
The City Safe campaign started collecting signatures for its petition to the NSW Government over the weekend, while participating in the latest Keep Sydney Open rally.
The City Safe lobby intends to propose a two-pronged strategy to the State Government, that suggests that Kings Cross and Sydney CBD venues that can prove that they are implementing best practice policies through electronic incident registers, should be exempted from lockouts and return to their previous trading hours. It also outlines a plan to make those exempted venues ‘Sydney Safe Venues’, that will provide refuge, security, water and basic first aid to anyone feeling vulnerable on the street
While at this stage the hoteliers involved in the City Safe campaign, have decided to remain anonymous, one publican involved in the lobby spoke to Australian Hotelier, disclosing what drew them to the lobby.
“The City Safe proposal makes an effort to make our streets even safer by utilising the safe house theme, whilst also providing a framework of criteria for venues to achieve should they wish to join other responsible venues trading late.”
AusComply directors Jason Thomas and Clive Dillen have become the public faces of the movement, and were at the Keep Sydney Open rally with other volunteers in high-vis City Safe vests, collecting signatures for the petition.
For the three-hour duration of the rally, they averaged just over two signatures per minute, and are expecting for the petition’s momentum to grow as they collect more signatures throughout the CBD next week.
“The sentiment against oppressive blanket legislation is quite tangible. We’ve not met anyone yet who is against safe well run venues being granted exemptions to the lockouts and going back to their normal licensed trading hours, especially when they realise the significant incentive to the venue, to remain compliant or risk losing their exemption and returning to lock outs,” said Thomas.
While only needing 10,000 signatures to ensure that the issue is discussed in Parliament, City Safe is aiming for 50,000 signatures, on the basis of Sydneysider’s sentiment on the issue of lockouts.
Check the City Safe Facebook page, for updates as to where in the Sydney CBD they will be in the coming weeks to collect signatures for their petition.