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Callinan review: Last drinks endorsed industry claims dismissed


The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) says the Callinan report into New South Wales (NSW) liquor laws has made a strong case for the state-wide application of the modest trading hour measures and has welcomed the exhaustive review findings.

The thorough review into NSW lockout laws has confirmed what FARE, together with law enforcement, public health and medical experts have long argued: that the measures have made Kings Cross and the Sydney CBD safer, with the report refuting industry claims to the contrary.

Also, while acknowledging the measures have incurred an economic cost, the report concludes those costs to be either exaggerated or not sufficiently documented or quantified.

The Hon Ian Callinan AC has suggested the government could consider a two-year trial of extending the 1:30am lockout and 3am last drinks to 2am and 3:30am for genuine entertainment venues, but stresses that any relaxation of the measures carries the likelihood of an increase in alcohol harms, and that any such changes should be staged and trialled.

FARE Chief Executive Michael Thorn said that, while he was open to the suggestion, the government should proceed with caution.

“The Callinan report is a ringing endorsement and acceptance of the large body of evidence that shows just how successful the measures have been in saving lives, saving taxpayer dollars and improving community amenity and public safety. The report effectively silences industry opponents that have tried unsuccessfully to suggest otherwise,” Mr Thorn said.

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