03 February 2014
Chinese New Year, Rushed Assault and Intoxication Laws, Housing Affordability Survey, Greyhound Rally and Mardi Gras Flag Raising
Over the weekend I joined Lord Mayor, Councillors and many community members to welcome in the Year of Horse at the Chinese New Year reception and the colourful twilight parade. During this year’s festival wonderful modern Chinese art is being showcased at Sydney Town Hall. Information on events is HERE
Last week assault and intoxication legislation was rushed through parliament without any community consultation. MPs were given less than 30 minutes to consider the legislation before debate started. Massive changes to criminal law were introduced imposing mandatory sentencing on offensives. Mandatory sentencing is not a deterrent and the punishment will only fit the crime if judges can consider all circumstances. We have an appeal system for inappropriate sentences and the government failed to prove that there is a wide problem with sentencing.
I raised concerns that the 1.30am lockouts with last drinks at 3.00am imposed in some parts of Sydney will shift the problems to other areas. I called on the government to review their legislation within 6 months, ensure trains operate overnight, impose greater regulations on serving alcohol including at backpacker hostels, establish a renewable licensing scheme, place restrictions on alcohol advertising, and properly fund education programmes in high schools on the impact of alcohol and binge drinking. My speech is HERE
Last night I spoke at the In The Mix forum on the impacts of the government’s legislation on the live music industry. I heard concerns from venue operators, employees, musos and djs. Kirsty Brown from Keep Sydney Open talked about the importance of a sustainable music scene in Sydney, and I argued that responsibly run live music venues are part of the solution, not part of the problem. A transcript of the forum will be available HERE soon.
My electorate has the largest proportion of renters in NSW. If you rent, take a few minutes to provide feedback to the Tenants Union for their submission to the current Parliamentary Inquiry HERE
Have a great week
Independent Member for Sydney
PS. Mardi Gras begins soon and I’ll be atthe Rainbow Flag raising at Sydney Town Hall to help officially launch the 2014 Mardi Gras season at 12 midday this Friday 7 February. Please stop by my stall at Fair Day to sign petitions and share your views with me.