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Release date: 10.30am, Thursday 16 April 2015 and revised 29 April 2015
Full report: Lockouts and last drinks: The impact of the January 2014 liquor licence reforms on assaults in NSW, Australia (pdf 3.1Mb)
Reforms to the NSW Liquor Act introduced following the death of Daniel Christie appear to have substantially reduced the incidence of assault in the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD entertainment precincts.
The changes introduced by the Liquor Amendment Act (2014) included:
The Bureau found that the reforms were associated with an immediate and substantial reduction in assault in Kings Cross (down 32%) and a less immediate but substantial and perhaps ongoing reduction in assault in the Sydney CBD (down 26%).
Most areas adjacent to the Kings Cross or Sydney CBD entertainment precincts or within easy reach of these precincts showed no increase in assault.
The number of assaults around The Star casino increased but the change was not statistically significant.
Commenting on the findings, the director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that, although the new liquor laws appear to have reduced the incidence of assault, some important questions remained unanswered.
It is not yet clear whether the reduction in assault was due to a fall in alcohol consumption or a change in the number of visitors to Kings Cross and/or the Sydney CBD entertainment precincts or both.
We will have a clearer picture of exactly what caused the fall in assaults once we have had time to examine the precise timing and location of the change.
Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn (02) 8346 1100Copies of the report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au