Home' Bars and Clubs : BAC MarApl 2016 Contents SURVEY SAYS: LOCKOUTS "UNJUSTIFIED"
A survey by global events and entertainment network The Socialites
has revealed that the majority of people believe the liquor legislation
introduced in NSW in 2014 is "unjustified". The survey, which had
more than 23,500 respondents asked for people's views on the ban of
take-away alcohol after 10pm, no shots, doubles or pre-mixers after
midnight as well as no entry to venues after 1.30am and last drinks at
3am. And every answer came back massively in favour of the rules being
unjustified. 75 per cent of those who responded said the ban of the
sale of takeaway alcohol was unjustified, with 53 per cent saying there
should be no ban at all. 39 per cent said the law should set a later time,
with 58 per cent of those suggesting midnight would be a better time
for takeaway sales to stop. In terms of the ban on shots, doubles and
pre-mixers after midnight, 58 per cent said this law was unjustified and
53 per cent saying there should be no ban at all. 28 per cent said that the
ban should be later, with 2am being the most popular revised time.
The NSW licensing changes also saw venues in Sydney's CBD
entertainment precinct banned from allowing patrons entry after 1.30am
and this had by far the biggest response of unjustified, with 84 per
cent being against the rule. 69 per cent added that there should be no
lockouts, while 24 per cent said the ban should simply come in later.
And of that 24 per cent, 54 per cent agreed that 3am is the best lockout
time, which means venues could allow patrons entry until last drinks.
Regarding last drinks, 64 per cent said 3am was not a fair last drinks
time, with 51 per cent saying there should be no limit and 26 per cent
saying it should be later, with 5am the preferred time. NSW Premier Mike
Baird has come under fire for his handling of the lockout debate and that
dissatisfaction is reflected in the survey with the government's rating
for its handling of the situation being 1.43 out of five. The survey also
asked respondents to give views on other factors regarding the liquor
licensing and issues surrounding late-night entertainment. One of the
most notable results is that 92 per cent said that public transport should
run all night, hinting that many see aggravation regarding how to get
home as a factor in late-night violence. The survey also agreed that any
reduction or removal of the laws must be substituted by higher patron
penalties first, with possibly a higher police presence.
The fact that The Star casino and the new Barangaroo development
as exempt from the legislation has also drawn criticism in the survey,
with the majority of respondents saying that the laws should apply
to all venues, although 74 per cent said that venues should be able to
apply for exemptions. The changes to New South Wales liquor licensing
were brought in in 2014 and former High Court judge Ian Callinan QC
is currently conducting a review, which is expected to be released later
SYDNEY'S CARGO BAR & LOUNGE IS UP
It has been announced that iconic Sydney venue, Cargo Bar & Lounge,
has been put up for sale through the Ray White property group. The
nightclub is not, as has been reported, being shut down. Owned by The
Keystone Group since 2000, the venue is a well-known fixture of the
Sydney bar scene and the King St Wharf entertainment precinct.
According to The Keystone Group, they have undertaken a "strategic
review" of their portfolio of assets. The review was apparently sparked
not only by the recent sale of the Newtown Hotel to Colonial Hotel
Group, but also through "interest" in the site. According to executive
chairman, Richard Facioni, the review's outcome led to the board of The
Keystone Group deciding to "release some of the significant capital" the
group have invested in the King Street Wharf precinct and to "reinvest
that capital into new growth opportunities."
Facioni went on to say, "The group is being presented with a number
of exciting opportunities across the country, including Melbourne where
we currently have no presence. The sale of Cargo would allow us to
accelerate some of those growth plans."
Additionally, John Duncan, managing director of The Keystone Group
told b&c that the lockout laws had not influenced the group's decision to
sell as the venue has continued to trade strongly throughout its 16 years
of operation. Duncan added that he believes the recent development of
Barangaroo "is great for the area".
"The growth of the precinct has only been positive for King St Wharf
as a whole, getting more people down to that end of the city to make it
a new dining and drinking hub," Duncan says.
While the recent sale of the Newtown Hotel was due to an unsolicited
approach from another hotel group, the sale reinforced the group's
strategic decision to focus on its core growth businesses including its
successful wine bar and restaurant brands. Cargo was The Keystone
Group's first asset and has been in action since 2000, operating
successfully for more than 15 years now.
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