Lockout Laws Were Debated In Parliament - This Is What Went Down

This afternoon at NSW Parliament House, we witnessed the presentation of Keep Sydney Open's 12,000 strong paper petition against Sydney's controversial Lock Out laws.

Head of Licensing at Ministry of Sound and long serving DJ in Sydney's scene, John Ferris, gave us the low down on the discussion.

Well today was a significant day in the Lock-Out laws in NSW. Over 10,000 people signed was officially presented to the NSW Parliament by Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong. When a petition has 10,000 hand written signatures it must be heard in the Parliament and the petition - that the Lock Out laws have indiscriminately destroyed business and culture without looking into all the viable options was presented backed up by a full gallery of Keep Sydney Open supporters and protesters which made the Government sit up and take notice again and respond in a slightly positive way. The door is open ever so slightly.

Jenny Leong when presenting the petition spoke of the need for Sydney to have a thriving night time economy and a thriving entertainment community and that these Lock Out Laws have destroyed business and the lives of many people especially creative people, musicians, performers, students, club owners, restaurant owners, taxi drivers, security people, bar people and all associated workers food and hospitality. As well as effected tourism and Sydney's reputation. She spoke of the people's right to party, whilst acknowledging the need for this to be done in a safe and harmless manner. She also said that we need to keep the pressure on the Government as the review period is current active and that the only reason for the review is because of ppl who are upset that the Government acted without consultation and the terrible effects these indiscriminate laws have had on the community, destroying Sydney's vibrancy. We must keep the pressure on.

The Government actually responded (John Sidoti) who recognised that the night time economy is a very important part of Sydney and that they will listen to the evidence presented to review. The Labor opposition in its very first positive public statement against these laws also recognised that these laws are destroying business' that have existed for decades in the city as well as effecting the creative enterprise. Alex Greenwich (independent for Sydney) also spoke strongly in favour of change to the laws as did Greens MP for Balmain - Jamie Parker - who also said that people were enraged with the exemption for the Casinos and noted that today was the first day that both the Mike Baird Government and the Labor Opposition suggested that perhaps they would be open to some changes in the law. This is a big step. We must keep up the pressure. The only reason they are starting to thaw is because the public pressure and good policy.

Tyson Koh, leading representative of Keep Sydney Open, spoke afterwards in Martin Place confirming there would be more protests and that we must keep the pressure and momentum up against these laws that are destroying Sydney. These laws are taking Sydney away from us.

Overall, Today's discussion signifies the recognition for change and the power the power of the support from the public can help to influence changes in policy.

Continue your support through Keep Sydney Open and keep an eye out for events and updates on the situation.

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