Premier Mike Baird was interviewed on Nova this morning, admitting he is “surprised” by the reaction he’s getting over Sydney’s right to drink on its own timetable. It's a reaction illustrated by the now 15,000 comments on yesterday’s facebook post, most of them critical.
Later in the day, Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice Troy Grant announced an independent, evidence-based review into the state’s lockout laws, to be headed by former High Court judge Ian Callinan AC QC.
The appointment is good news; Callinan has conducted reviews of Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission, the 2007 equine influenza outbreak and the Victorian parole system, among others, and appears by any measure the right person for the job.
There have been many, many responses to Baird’s facebook post, including from Max Hardwick-Morris, the victim of an Australia Day alcohol-related incident. Hardwick-Morris wrote an email to Premier Baird from hospital that he made public in which he criticised the laws and their effect on Sydney’s culture.
Elsewhere, Flight Facilities released a statement listing the late-night venues that shaped their careers... that have all closed down since the laws were introduced.
casinomike is trending on Twitter, a reference to the exemptions uniquely enjoyed by The Star and Crown casinos. FBi has issued a call to action and Pedestrian published a graphic video showing a patron tackled by security at The Star on Sunday morning. The man leaves in an ambulance with his leg broken in two places and bleeding from the head.
Barry O’Farrell famously resigned over a bottle of wine in 2014. It seems Premier Baird is justly wary of ending his political career the same way.
The call for formal submissions to the review will go out “shortly”. We encourage you to share your thoughts on the laws.