Keep Sydney Open

Farewell Mike Baird, Sydney Won't Forget You

We asked the city's musicians and hospitality people for some parting words.

by Sean Foster
23 January 2017, 4:44am

Former NSW Premier Mike Baird announced his resignation from politics on Thursday. With his departure comes questions about the future of lockout laws, which his replacement, Gladys Berejiklian, has never spoken about publicly.

Whether or not lockouts remain in place, we figured it was worthwhile getting some final words for Casino Mike. Because sadly, it's the lockouts that most will remember.

We reached out to DJs, musicians, and hospitality people for their thoughts.


Alex Hollis, presenter on FBi Radio

The music industry has been drowning under all these restrictions imposed by the Baird Government. Hopefully this will be the breath of fresh air that the music industry and Sydney nightlife desperately needs. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours, provided they have nothing to do with you having any power over anyone or anything.


Andrew Cotman, Stoney Roads Records

Dear Mike, hopefully in the next chapter of your life you LISTEN to the people you serve. For the rest of us, the job isn't over. As long as the archaic lockout laws remain in place, Sydney will never be the global city it once was and could still be. Continue to support venues, artists, DJs and businesses that rely on a night time economy to survive. Let's push for constructive measures and work with the NSW Government and policy makers to make some positive changes for this generation and generations to come. We're all in this together!

Aaron Bannie, AKA "Third Floor"

Before I started as a musician, I worked in hospitality for one of the biggest chains in Sydney: the Keystone Group. I have first-hand experience of what Mike Baird has done for both the hospitality and the music industry. Basically he's put a severe dent in it. You can't even have guests from overseas without being embarrassed to take them out. So my goodbye message is this: have a good retirement in NSW knowing that there's not a single live music venue in the state that'll welcome you through its doors.

Mikee Collins works at hospitality consulting company Hospitality Intelligence

Okay so what I would say to Mike Baird is that I, as an industry veteran for 23 years, I'm bitterly disappointed by the stain you've left on Sydney. When I was growing up I had no restrictions when I went out and I found myself in NO violent scenarios. Also I know that my wife had the exact same experience, we danced all night, we laughed, we carried on, and we sponsored the community by spending money. You're a disappointment, you're a terrible representation of Sydney, and I'm glad to see the back of you.

Image by Maclay Heriot

Reuben Styles from "Peking Duk"

You had no appreciation for culture, and to be honest, your time expired at least three years ago. If people are wearing t-shirts all around Sydney with your face on it touting "Casino Mike," you should get out of office ASAP. The casino probably won't give you your reward for another few years but but we would love to have government officials keep an eye on him because he deserves no easy way out. The damage this rotten bloke done in this city is close to unrepairable and I hope no one forgets it. Goodbye Casino Mike, you absolute flog.

All photos (except the last one) by the author, Sean Foster. Check out more of his stuff here.