By Andrew Starke

NSW Labor has accused the State’s Premier Barry O'Farrell of breaking a key election promise by failing to create a new ‘drunk and disorderly’ offence under the Summary Offences Act.

Shadow Attorney General Paul Lynch said the proposed Intoxicated and Disorderly Conduct Bill merely allowed police to fine people who don't obey a ‘move on’ direction after six hours.

”This is a tweak to the current law – failing to ‘move on’ is an offence that already exists,” he said.

”This represents a clear breach of the Premier's election promise.”

According to the NSW Liberals’ policy document, Making Our Streets Safe Again, the party promised to “introduce a new category of offence called ‘drunk and disorderly’ with a maximum penalty of 6 penalty units or a new on-the-spot fine of $200”.

And as recently as May 9 this year, O'Farrell told Parliament: “We intend to put meaning back into the Summary Offices Act … A new offence of drunk and disorderly will include drunk under the influence of alcohol or intoxicated under the influence of drugs.”

However, the Intoxicated and Disorderly Conduct Bill, which is expected to pass through Parliament next month (August), only allows police to issue $200 fines to people found to be drunk and disorderly in a public place six hours after they have been given a 'move on' direction.

”It is fair to hold Barry O'Farrell to his own words – he talked a big game on law and order prior to the last election and has failed at this hurdle,” Lynch said.

”A policy Barry O'Farrell was roaring about in March has turned into a squeak just a few months later.

”He's worked out reintroducing 'drunk and disorderly' is a dumb idea and flies in the face of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Police Deaths in Custody.”


The Shout Team

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