Majority of voters back lockout laws across NSW, poll shows

A majority of NSW voters say the controversial “lockout” laws in Sydney’s centre should be extended across the state and three-quarters of young people support existing laws, an exclusive Fairfax poll has found.

Nearly 60 per cent of NSW voters support extending the 1.30am “lockout” and 3am last drinks in force across Kings Cross and parts of the CBD to the rest of the state, according to a Fairfax-commissioned ReachTEL poll of 1600 voters.

Lockout laws have saved lives: Mike Baird

NSW Premier Mike Baird says that while he remains open-minded, the Sydney lockout laws have already saved lives and prevented brain injuries.

The findings come as the state government prepares to receive a review of the 2014 laws, which have this year continued to draw protests of up to 10,000 people and criticism they have neutered Sydney’s night life. Most voters, and especially younger voters, say core elements, including a 1.30am lockout, should be retained.

Only one-quarter of voters are opposed to extending the lockouts statewide; the balance are undecided.

Mike Baird's government is due to review the 2014 lockout laws.
Mike Baird’s government is due to review the 2014 lockout laws. Photo: Peter Rae

Tamworth and Newcastle have independently brought in lockout regimes and the idea has the backing of many physicians and emergency workers.

“We are just continuing to accept more than 2000 non-domestic assaults a month in NSW as background noise,” said Dr John Crozier from Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. “These are reasonable measures and they work.”

Dr Crozier said the CBD lockouts had more than halved the number of patients needing serious facial surgery.

An accompanying 10pm bottle shop curfew was also followed by a decrease in the statewide assault rate, Dr Crozier said.

A majority of voters from all three parties supported extending the lockout, but Greens MLC David Shoebridge said the party would not drop opposition in response to polls. “We want to see the big beer barns and mega casinos targeted, not a blanket lockout,” he said.

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