I sent the following e-mail to all City of Sydney Councillors yesterday. The State Govt is finally doing something about trying to reduce the alcohol-related problems in NSW although its net impact could be limited in the inner-east.
Council will be considering two DAs of particular concern Monday 3 November:
the DA to extend the trading hours of Hugos Pizza in Kings Cross, and
the DA relating to a bar in Llankelly Place, Kings Cross which would be the first licensed premises under the new small bars regime.
Local residents urge you to reject both of these DAs for the reasons discussed by residents and Councillors at the Committee meeting a fortnight ago. We favour a minimal aount of regulation – in these cases regulation is needed and the DAs should be rejected as:
the recommended extended trading hours for Hugos Pizza will increase the overall supply of alcohol in the early morning in Kings Cross and is likely to increase the numbers of people in the vicinity of Bayswater Rd after 4am, exacerbating the current problems in the vicinity of Bayswater Rd and nearby areas;
It is likely a small bar in Llankelly Place will have high noise impacts on the amentiy of nearby local residents, especially as smoking patrons are most likely to use Llankelly Place to smoke.
These cases demonstrate the necessity for Council to better consider the cumulative impact of numerous licensed premises when considering DAs. This is a matter of taking due and proper consideration of the wider impacts on personal safety and amenity of having numerous licensed premises in one particular area. We call on Council to develop and release its policy on cumulative impact and density of licensed premises.
Just in the last two days there have been fights and stabbings in Oxford St and Kings Cross – while it isn’t clear whether they were alcohol-related, they are further examples of the violence in the inner east that the availability of alcohol is directly related to. The NSW Police have consistently stated that the availability of alcohol is a very great factor in the amount of violence.
It is time for the whole community to take action to deal with the personal and social problems caused by the availability of alcohol. The State Government looks as if it may tinker with the existing system, but the discussed changes don’t look likely to stop the alcohol-related problems in the City east.
Council must act if the State Government does not.