Sorry We're CLOSED

The lock­outs are two years old. The dam­age has been done. Now Time Out calls for ac­tion to bring Syd­ney’s nightlife back from the brink

Time Out (Sydney) - - FRONT PAGE -

In 2014, Syd­ney had a sick­ness – a sick­ness that can be seen in al­most ever y city. We had a prob­lem with night­time vi­o­lence. In March of 2016, with an as­sault on a hens’ party and a large street brawl break­ing out within 24 hours and a few blocks of one an­other, it is ap­par­ent that this sick­ness hasn’t been cured. Cer tainly, the rates of vi­o­lence have dropped since lock­out laws were in­stated, but when the laws were put into place, the num­ber of as­saults was al­ready fall­ing.

As venues close by the dozen and night­time foot traf­fic plum­mets across Syd­ney’s lock­out zones, it’s clear that the medicine we’ve been fed to fight the vi­o­lence is tak­ing its own toll. Late open­ing hours funded ever ything from live mu­sic to per for­mance pro­grams, and as prof­its plum­met it’s cul­ture that is squeezed to ex­haus­tion. They even squeeze those who haven’t cared about stay­ing out late in years.

Syd­ney’s lock­out laws were brought in abruptly and with­out con­sul­ta­tion. They were ush­ered in un­der an um­brella of panic, and like most choices made hastily through the fog of grief, they were not par tic­u­larly well thought out. This so­lu­tion isn’t good enough for a global city. There is noth­ing shame­ful about want­ing to stay up late at night; to be en­ter tained at 3am. Go­ing out late is some­thing adults do joy­fully all over the world – we should know, we’ve built a global pub­lish­ing em­pire on it. Time Out was founded to cel­e­brate an abun­dance of op­tions. We ex­ist to fa­cil­i­tate liv­ing a so­cially rich life. We ex­ist to fos­ter con­nec­tion with a cre­ative com­mu­nity. Right now, in Syd­ney, that sense of abun­dance is miss­ing. The cre­ative com­mu­nity we cel­e­brate is feel­ing that pain.

isn’t call­ing for a re­peal to the laws. We’re call­ing for a more

Time Out Syd­ney mea­sured, ev­i­dence-based re­sponse to night­time vi­o­lence, one that does not evis­cer­ate all life at night. Safe streets are not the same as empty streets. Right now, law en­force­ment fails to see that dif fer­ence. True se­cu­rity is be­ing able to choose what you want, when you want it, and to be sup­por ted in that choice. On the fol­low­ing pages, you will find ac­counts from peo­ple whose choices have been lim­ited, and whose sta­bil­ity has been shaken by the lock­out laws. The first Round

Time Out Syd­ney Ta­ble on these laws is held later today, the day this is­sue of hits stands. Right now, our State Gov­ern­ment has op­tions – more op­tions than Syd­ney’s res­i­dents do. We urge them to choose the right ones.

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