30 January 2014
Alex Greenwich, Independent member for Sydney, has expressed his opposition to key aspects of the government’s plans to address alcohol fuelled violence including mandatory sentences and lockouts. Legislation was rushed through Parliament today without any consultation and normal parliamentary process was abandoned to prevent scrutiny of the legislation and time for debate.
“While I welcome Government attempts to address this complex problem, proper process should have occurred so that assessment and expert input improved laws and prevented unintended problems.”
“We need the right solution not the right now solution. Rushing a bill through parliament will reduce community confidence in the government’s ability to tackle alcohol fuelled violence when problems persist and unintended consequences hurt others.”
Mr Greenwich said much of the legislation will have a direct impact on residents, businesses and visitors in his electorate and they deserve a say.
“Limiting the discussion to a few people around the Cabinet table alienates those who are directly affected.”
“The boundaries used seem arbitrary and fail to take into account potential impacts on adjacent areas. Ridiculously people will be allowed to get drunk gambling their savings at the casino but not have a light beer and watch a drag show on Oxford Street”
“Pyrmont could become a new site of alcohol related violence. Residents of Chippendale and Ultimo are concerned about displacement to Broadway. Surry Hills residents are concerned about displacement to Crown Street. Paddington residents are concerned about late night problems moving to them.”
“Lockouts could favour patronage at larger late-night venues and shift problems to house parties, illegal parties and backpacker hostels.”
Mr Greenwich said mandatory sentencing will do little to curb alcohol fuelled violence:
“Mandatory minimum sentences defy justice, fairness and logic. They do nothing to stop violent alcohol related attacks, with ample evidence showing offenders do not consider the consequences of their actions when they are intoxicated. The separation of powers is central our justice system and MPs should not act as judges”.
Mr Greenwich's full speech is HERE
For further information contact Alex Greenwich on 9360 3053.