St Vincent’s concerned at relaxation of NSW bottle shop closing times

St Vincent’s concerned at relaxation of NSW bottle shop closing times

08 Dec 2016

St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney has expressed its concern at the relaxation of bottle shop closing times in NSW as part of the government’s response to the Callinan Inquiry’s recommendations on the state’s liquor laws.

The Hospital, which was on the frontline of alcohol-related violence in Sydney’s CBD and Kings Cross prior to the measures – commonly known as the ‘lockout laws’ – being introduced, and has seen a dramatic and positive difference since then, said it was concerned that it would see an uptick in alcohol-related harms and violent injuries.

“We understand this is a difficult decision for the government, with many different and competing interests,” said Associate Professor Nadine Ezard, Director of St Vincent’s Alcohol & Drug Services.

“Nevertheless, while we accept the decision to trial an extension by half an hour the lockout and last drinks times for venues offering genuine live music in Sydney’s CBD and Kings Cross – as recommended by Justice Callinan – we’re concerned by the decision to extend bottle shop closures by an hour. 
“Extending the hours when alcohol can be purchased increases the number and severity of alcohol-related problems. Conversely, a reduction in these hours can contribute to a decrease in these same problems.

“Our Hospital over the last two years is clear evidence of that. We’ve seen a 44% decrease in trauma admissions to ICU involving alcohol-related assaults. There is a weight of evidence linking store-bought alcohol with alcohol-related violence. We hope it’s not the case but we are concerned that relaxing the bottle shop closing times creates a greater risk of alcohol-related violence – particularly family violence. 

“As Justice Callinan said in his own report: ‘It needs to be understood however that such an extension may elevate the risk of domestic violence.”

“Along with the government, St Vincent’s will be monitoring the impact of these changes on the hospital very closely. We are very wary of experiencing an increase in presentations and admissions as a result of alcohol-related violence and will be reporting any increase publicly and to help inform further government decisions in this area,” said Prof Ezard.

What: Media Conference featuring Prof Nadine Ezard

When: 12:30 PM Thursday 08 December 2016

Where: Outside St Vincent’s Hospital Ambulance Bay, Victoria Rd Darlinghurst

For more information contact David Faktor on 0405 497 510 or leave a message in the form below.


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