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Locked out of Sydney

Question Of The Day - What Do You Think Of Sydney’s Lockout?

What do Sydney's residents thing about the government taking away their access to drinking and fighting?

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Last week Sydney premier Barry O’Farrell announced that new lockout laws will be introduced in an attempt to curb alcohol-fuelled violence in the city. From now pubs and bars will not allow people to enter after 1.30AM, and all alcohol trading will stop at 3AM. Obviously this is Australia where taking away someone's access to drinking and fighting is like taking away their, well access to drinking and fighting.


We hit the streets to see how Sydney Siders felt about the news laws and if anyone thought it would be enough to transform them into a city of peace loving, kombucha sipping, ocean gazing chillers. Although to be fair, most Sydney locals are already there.

John, Eskrima Stick Fighting Instructor

VICE: What do you think about the proposed new lockout laws?
John: Like every law mate, there’s good and bad things about it. You know, they brought the 24-hour trading in for the Olympics, the Olympics are gone, now people are on the street pissed at all times of the day.

So do you think it will work?
Um… yeah?

It will reduce violence?
Violence has always been around mate. There’s always been violence on the streets. I believe it will stop some of it.

You seem unconvinced.
It’ll have an effect. Yes it will. I believe it will.

Alex, musician

VICE: Have you given much thought to the new lockout laws?
Alex: I think it’s a bad idea. Have you ever been locked out in Brisbane in the Valley at 1AM in the morning? It’s like terrifying the amount of drunk assholes that are trapped on the street looking for trouble. I can’t think of anything worse than heaps of drunk people forced out onto the streets at 1AM.

So do you think there will be more violence?
Yeah man, I just don’t think it’s a great idea. I mean the reason everyone’s getting drunk before they go out is because alcohol in bars and pubs is so expensive that kids are now just getting wasted on cheap booze from the liquor store, hitting the streets at ten at night and they’re already so wasted because it’s expensive. And then you’re gonna chuck them out on the street at one in the morning and it’s just like, man.


Is there anything worse than an army of drunks on the street at 3AM?
An army of ‘roided up drunks.

Welcome to Sydney.

Mikel, Sales

VICE: What do you think about the proposed new lockout laws?
Mikel: I think it’s an “okay” idea. What would be more effective is if there were more police on the streets, because the incidents that happened—that are so public—happened earlier in the night. I mean my opinion is just more cops on the streets is probably the best deterrent.

Is it bad for business?
I think it might be, yeah. Personally not for me, I’m probably not out at those times but there are people that are and it probably does affect businesses.

Al, Film and TV Director

VICE: What’s your vibe on the 1.30AM lockout?
Al: Well I think that the direct reaction is a bit overblown. You know, these two things that have happened recently—while they are absolute tragedies—they happened at 9 and 10 o’clock at night. I think they’ve got to do something about it but I don’t know whether this is the right kinda thing.

Any ideas what they could do?
No ideas. Sorry boys.

Seeta, Student

VICE: What do you think about the lockout laws?
Seeta: Isn’t it like 1.30 or something? I just heard people talking about it at school.

School? Yeah, you can’t get into a club after 1.30am.
Oh that’s like Byron.

Does it work in Byron?
No. But it’s not the people in Byron that fight; it’s the people outside of Byron that come to Byron to fight.


Beach side Fightclub huh? So where do people go in Byron when they’re locked out?
The streets or a public park.

Carla, illustrator

VICE: You a fan of the lockout proposition?
Carla: I think the lockout laws are good for the bar staff because then they actually get to leave work on time.

You’re in the minority of young people who agree. Have you worked in a bar before?
Yes, in Spain.

What do they do in Spain?
They’re open until 6 in the morning.

Do they have violence problems?

Do you think shutting the bars early is a solution to violence based on your experience?
Well if you shut them at 1.30, people will probably just drink earlier so in terms of that, no. I mean if people are violent, they’re going to be violent regardless of where they are.

Mita, bar manager

VICE: How are you feeling about the lockout?
Mita: I think it’s shit. It’s not going to solve anything. Nothing’s happening early hours of the morning. So what that’s going to do, nobody knows.

Should we be talking police presence rather than lockouts then?
Yeah. The other thing that I’m really annoyed at is that the government has let all these venues have 24-hour licenses, and now that they see that things are going wrong they’re blaming it on the venues. Yet they’re the ones who legalised it in the first place, they aren’t pointing the finger back on themselves. They can see the mistake they made but they seem to be blaming all the venues.


So they’re two separate issues?
Yeah. They’ve also got to look at gym junkies. Because the ones that have gone and done the damage love going to the gym and you know, pumping themselves with steroids. That and alcohol are obviously not going to mix.

Kevin, mine worker; Millie, bartender

VICE: What do you think about the proposed new lockout laws?
Kevin: It’s an absolute crock of shit and it should not happen.
Millie: It’s not our fault that idiots like that run around and they’ve gotta ruin it for everyone else.

It is a little unfair to the non-douche population.
Millie: Yeah, heaps unfair!

What do you think they should do instead?
Millie: There has to be some other way around it.
Kevin: Leave it as it is. There’s nothing wrong with it. You can’t punish a whole city on the actions of a few people running around punching people.

Follow Daniel on Instagram: @wehaveavisual