By Clyde Mooney
Industry concerns have surfaced following the NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell's announcement on Tuesday of a raft of measures to tackle problems in the Kings Cross precinct.
The suite of initiatives includes an increased police presence and powers and improvements in public transport, but most significantly includes a precinct-wide linked ID-scanning system.
Sylvester & Browne Lawyers principal David Sylvester told TheShout the onus is increasingly being put on the operators to take on the burden of law enforcement.
"The cost issue doesn't resonate well with critics, but venues have already put in a number of initiatives to address this problem – how much more will they be expected to do?
"Each machine needs an operator, as well as additional security to protect them. The costs are significant."
Sylvester's firm represents a number of hospitality clients in the Oxford Street and CBD precincts, and he says these clients are "far from happy about the ramifications of such proposals and their potential to affect other city venues".
TheShout's story on Wednesday quoted support by the AHA (NSW) for the new measures, with CEO Paul Nicolaou describing them as "practical measures that directly target those people doing the wrong thing, not the 99.9 per cent of people who come to the Cross for a good time".
An AHA spokesperson yesterday reaffirmed this position, telling TheShout that "discussions have been held regularly with the nine AHA members in the Cross over the last few weeks".
The spokesperson declined to speculate on the proposed ID-scanning system at this stage.