Leyonhjelm on the consequences of lockout laws

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NSW LDP senator David Leyonhjelm eloquently explains in today’s Australian Financial Review the disastrous effects of his state’s lockout laws:

… [J]ob losses and venue closures in Kings Cross since the lockout laws have been staggering: a third of licensed venues in the area have closed. The rest are hanging on by a thread, hoping the NSW government will see sense. And it’s not just the pubs, nightclubs and dens of iniquity that are suffering. Restaurants, shops and newsagents are also closing.

Hundreds of people have lost their jobs and many others have experienced significant reductions in working hours. Such changes have the greatest impact on the most prominent demographic represented among nightlife employees: young people.

What makes it worse is that it is not at all clear that lockout laws are a permanent solution to the problem of alcohol-related violence. A 2014 Australian Institute of Criminology study concluded that lockout laws have mixed or uncertain results. In Melbourne their implementation in 2008 led to an increase in assaults between midnight and 4am, and they were ditched three months later.

… If 200 people in an ailing car factory were about to lose their jobs, politicians would be angling for taxpayer subsidies to prop up their employer. By contrast, hospitality, tourism, and sex workers are apparently expendable while their employers – pubs, bars, restaurants, strip-clubs – are written off as “vested interests”.

Read more here.

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