By Andrew Starke
New inner Sydney transport improvements will help people get home from late licensed venues quickly and safely, according to Lord Mayor, Clover Moore.
The Government has promised three new secure taxi ranks at World Square; King Street Wharf; and Alfred Street, Circular Quay.
Three new late night bus services will also run Central to Bondi Junction; Circular Quay to Parramatta; and The Rocks to Town Hall, via Hickson Road.
“These new bus and taxi services will help people get home, reduce their risk of becoming a victim of alcohol fuelled violence, and avoid some problems caused by crowding in late night precincts, especially near residential areas,” said Moore.
The NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally, recently extended the temporary freeze on new liquor licences in some saturated areas, maintaining until June 2011 the cap on the number of licensed premises in Kings Cross, Oxford Street and the southern CBD.
While the Premier would not give her backing to a call for 1am lockouts and a ban on shots and cocktails after 10pm in NSW licensed venues, tough new rules are set to target alcohol-related violence from party boats, karaoke venues, party buses and large scale events.
“I am concerned however that the State government’s “Hassle Free Nights” is only a 12 month plan and I urge the Government to pursue long-term strategies and legislative reforms that recognise the complexity of late night trading areas right across Sydney,” said Moore.
She added that the City of Sydney is working to improve safety and amenity in our late night precincts by:
- A strong regulatory response, providing ongoing inspections of licensed premises, complaint procedures to monitor and evaluate problem areas and venues, with specialist licensing compliance officers allocated to our late night precincts.
- A leading planning framework with our Late Night Trading Premises Development Control Plan to manage when and how late night venues can operate.
- A commitment to evidence based strategies with the completion of our Late Night Trading Research Project into saturation and cumulative impact, and the recent commencement of research into late night pedestrian volume, migration, behaviour and transport use.
- Strengthened internal and external partnerships through coordination with Council staff, NSW Police, the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing (OLGR) and the NSW Department of Planning.
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