On Monday the ACT government released a discussion paper on alcohol-related crime.
Among other things it talks about lockouts like the ones in place in Kings Cross (i.e. no one allowed into clubs after 1am), making drinks more expensive, and possibly forcing Civic venues to close at 3am as opposed to 5am.
There’s evidence for and against the lockouts in Kings Cross. Yes, alcohol-related assaults have dropped significantly but there’s a strong argument that the problem has just moved elsewhere rather than been solved in any way.
There’s also a strong argument that given we are so much smaller than Sydney, and Civic is sort of the ‘hub’ for Canberra night life, that a lockout imposed here would mean certain death for a lot of businesses, not just clubs and pubs but those that rely on patrons clubbing between venues (i.e. the pizza stalls, late night convenience stores etc).
There’s very strong evidence that increasing the price of drinks leads to more people ‘pre-loading’ i.e., drinking at home before heading out, which combined with a lock out means hundreds of drunk people loitering on the streets rather than safely in clubs with security present.
The discussion paper can be found at http://www.timetotalk.act.gov.au/.
What do people think? Would lockouts, increased cost of alcohol or restricted trading hours work in Canberra or would it hurt businesses and patrons rather than help?