Monday 18th November 2013
Lives will continue to be shattered by alcohol-fuelled violence unless the NSW Government introduces measures proven to work in reducing assault rates, emergency workers have warned.
Last Drinks coalition spokesperson and Police Association of NSW President Scott Weber said that the government is under increased pressure to introduce reduced trading hours and lock-outs in the state’s licensed venues following the State Opposition’s announcement that it now supports the move.
“The NSW Government is the only thing standing in the way of these vital measures being put in place,” Mr Weber said.
“Over the past few weeks we’ve seen lives shattered, even lost, at the hands of alcohol-fuelled violence and it will only get worse over the coming summer months unless the government takes action.
The Last Drinks coalition of police, doctors, paramedics and nurses have long called for measures similar to those in place in Newcastle to be introduced in other areas of the state.
“When reduced trading hours, lock-outs and restrictions on high alcohol-content drinks were introduced in Newcastle we saw a 37 percent decrease in late night assaults and a 26 percent decrease in emergency department admissions,” Mr Weber said.
“The statistics don’t lie. These measures are proven to work. To continue to ignore them is to continue to put the community at risk.
“It’s all well and good to introduce measures that deal with the problem after the fact, but what we really need to see is action that addresses it before it gets to that point.
“Our politicians can’t afford to sit back and not introduce the Newcastle model. We need urgent action to reduce the alcohol-fuelled assaults we’re seeing every single weekend.
“Lives are being lost. This is too important to ignore any longer.
“Without real action, it’s only a matter of time before someone else is killed.
“The community is crying our for action. The evidence that shows what works to reduce assault rates is there in black and white. It’s time our politicians listened to community concerns and introduced the measures we know work.”