The Death of Fun in Sydney

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Freelancer.com's CEO is getting a lot of traction on his essay slamming the tough laws in Sydney that have gutted the nightlife scene.

Matt Barrie's tirade against Sydney's night-time lockout laws touches a raw nerve
  • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
    An interesting read. In the UK, a number of years ago, bars were allowed to open all day. Outrage from some, people thought that there would be drunkenness and lawlessness galore. After a short while the novelty wore off and you would never notice anything different. Public Bars don't open till the early hours but nightclubs can.

    I remember pubs and bars opening from 10.30 am till about 2pm and then from 6pm till eleven, earlier closing on Sundays. No exceptions. They mainly used to be real boring in my youth, cloth capped old men playing domino's. Now a lot more lively.

    Sure you get some drunkenness but you always did.

    This heavy handed, interfering crap they are pulling in Sydney looks to be outrageously over the top looking at the low stats of the misdemeanours, an interfering, moralizing Government imposing their ideals. It may be naive but I thought they were there to represent and serve the people who elected them in serious, economic matters, not to stifle their leisure time and destroy businesses and tourism and turn cities into veritable Ghost Towns.

    What do the Australians here think about this?
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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    Very interesting read. Had no idea ....
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Tirades aside.

      Wasn't the crackdown in Sydney due to motorcycle gangs and huge crime problems of just a few years ago? I seem to remember a thread here started by someone from that area describing what was happening.

      The area he was describing had been supported by tourism and was losing business due to increased violence in the area. It may not have been the same area in Australia - but I remember him saying some predicted tourists would not come back as control of criminal elements may have come too late.
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Tirades aside.

        Wasn't the crackdown in Sydney due to motorcycle gangs and huge crime problems of just a few years ago? I seem to remember a thread here started by someone from that area describing what was happening.

        The area he was describing had been supported by tourism and was losing business due to increased violence in the area. It may not have been the same area in Australia - but I remember him saying some predicted tourists would not come back as control of criminal elements may have come too late.

        There were two murders, punching two guys at different times that resulted in death. As a result, they made all those rules. As a result, they don't need to worry about chasing the tourists away. There are no tourists and the hotels and restaurants, some of them once world renowned, are gone. Closed for good. The section where the rules were imposed is a ghost town, when it once was a thriving evening economy.

        Instead of making rules about alcohol and serving alcohol that dried up all the business there, they should have simply invested in police to get rid of any roving criminals. One guy was tried for the last murder ... he punched the guy and the guy fell and cracked his skull on the cement. He got off easy in court with a manslaughter charge.

        Oh... and I imagine they still have those roving gangs of teens.
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      • Profile picture of the author rondo
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Tirades aside.

        Wasn't the crackdown in Sydney due to motorcycle gangs and huge crime problems of just a few years ago? I seem to remember a thread here started by someone from that area describing what was happening.

        Kay, I think that thread was about the Gold Coast which is 500+ miles north of Sydney.

        Andrew
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          Andrew - you're right! I'd forgotten the place but remembered the thread...not really useful, but typical pf my brain activity some days.
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      • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Wasn't the crackdown in Sydney due to motorcycle gangs and huge crime problems of just a few years ago?
        No, that was on the Gold Coast. The problem in Sydney is punch-ups with drunk (mostly, but not always) males.

        This story is a bit of a beat-up actually. What is really killing off nightlife in Sydney is the pubs and clubs that used to be the spawning ground of Aussie rock bands (AC/DC, INXS, etc.) stopped featuring live music and started becoming pokie barns. Pokies are poker machines, one armed bandits, slot machines, etc.

        What were once rocking joints became morgues with zombies pumping their pay packets into them. Very sad state of affairs.

        Melbourne and Brisbane are heading in the same direction, but thankfully Perth (where I live now - lived in Sydney for 20+ years though) has a ban on pokies in pubs so there is still a bustling live music scene.
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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          Originally Posted by whateverpedia View Post

          No, that was on the Gold Coast. The problem in Sydney is punch-ups with drunk (mostly, but not always) males.

          This story is a bit of a beat-up actually. What is really killing off nightlife in Sydney is the pubs and clubs that used to be the spawning ground of Aussie rock bands (AC/DC, INXS, etc.) stopped featuring live music and started becoming pokie barns. Pokies are poker machines, one armed bandits, slot machines, etc.

          What were once rocking joints become morgues with zombies pumping their pay packets into them. Very sad state of affairs.

          Melbourne and Brisbane are heading in the same direction, but thankfully Perth (where I live) has a ban on pokies in pubs so there is still a bustling live music scene.

          Ah ... good to see a little inside knowledge. Do you think all the rules and regulations, which seem way over the top to me, helped it all along?
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          • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            Do you think all the rules and regulations, which seem way over the top to me, helped it all along?
            Having thought about this question for a while, I think there probably is a connection, albeit separated by a couple of decades.

            The live music scene in Sydney was thriving in the 70s and 80s, but that started to change when, in around 1990, pubs were allowed to have pokies in them.

            Pub owners opted for the lazy cash rather than the trouble of getting bands to play at their venues. The pokies are designed to keep 15 cents in every dollar that gets put into them. They are cash cows that can generate thousands of dollars of revenue for the owner for the cost of the electricity needed to keep them going. Pretty soon just about every square inch of space was devoted to pokies. Some once great venues for bands were turned into mini casinos.

            Apart from the pokies, the only other reason to go to them was just to get bladdered. When there were bands playing the crowd had an outlet for their pent up drunken aggression by moshing along to the music. Suddenly there wasn't that outlet anymore and gradually over the next two decades the pubs became bloodbaths.

            This reached a "crisis" point after a couple of young blokes were killed by "king hits" (sucker punches to Americans) in the last few years. Plus footage of brawls outside pubs that regularly made the news.

            In my opinion, if the pubs shut down the pokies and went back to being venues for entertainment, a lot of the problem would disappear. Not all of it, but definitely some of it.

            Sadly though that ain't gonna happen. The pubs have discovered a goose that lays golden eggs, and the government also rakes in millions from taxes on these revenues, and neither of them is going to cut off the easy cash flow that pokies generate.

            As I mentioned earlier, Perth has a ban on pokies in pubs, and a thriving music scene. The twice Grammy nominated band Tame Impala (Best Alternative Album 2014 and 2016) hail from this scene. There are still "black spots" but nowhere near as bad as in other cities. In other words, there are still a lot of venues where people can get primal in a non-violent manner.
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            • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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              Originally Posted by whateverpedia View Post

              This reached a "crisis" point after a couple of young blokes were killed by "king hits" (sucker punches to Americans) in the last few years. Plus footage of brawls outside pubs that regularly made the news.
              Interesting. I don't go to bars here and haven't for 30 years, but there is no ongoing type of alcohol/aggression type of problem that we associate here with bar hopping. At least none that I've read about. An occasional bar fight that is brought to the media's attention and maybe even an occasional bar fight that ends in a death, but no "roving" punks that are looking to kill or hurt people after drinking in bars.

              But sounds like the machines dried up a lot of the fun of going out in some parts of Australia. I'd opt for the music any day.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by whateverpedia View Post

          No, that was on the Gold Coast. The problem in Sydney is punch-ups with drunk (mostly, but not always) males.

          This story is a bit of a beat-up actually. What is really killing off nightlife in Sydney is the pubs and clubs that used to be the spawning ground of Aussie rock bands (AC/DC, INXS, etc.) stopped featuring live music and started becoming pokie barns. Pokies are poker machines, one armed bandits, slot machines, etc.

          What were once rocking joints became morgues with zombies pumping their pay packets into them. Very sad state of affairs.
          That makes sense. I wasn't understanding the whole mentality that if I have to be at my last party spot by 1:30 am and couldn't order my last drink at 3:01 am then forget the whole thing and I won't party at all.
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      • Profile picture of the author peter_act
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Tirades aside.

        Wasn't the crackdown in Sydney due to motorcycle gangs and huge crime problems of just a few years ago? I seem to remember a thread here started by someone from that area describing what was happening.

        The area he was describing had been supported by tourism and was losing business due to increased violence in the area. It may not have been the same area in Australia - but I remember him saying some predicted tourists would not come back as control of criminal elements may have come too late.
        That was me, Kay.

        Here's my original post:

        http://www.warriorforum.com/off-topi...law-order.html
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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      Originally Posted by hardraysnight View Post

      so many foreign experts on australia
      wikipedia baby.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Ah yes, the ability to read quickly serves us well, doesn't it?
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          Ah yes, the ability to read quickly serves us well, doesn't it?
          It all started with the original article that mentioned two guys names that were killed by "punching" and they gave it all sorts of weird names like King Punching, etc. So I googled the two guys names and then read the wikipedia article about them and how they died and what happened with all the rules and regulations that resulted from their deaths. And what it did to Sydney nightlife. It was all pretty interesting. Read Barrie's article too, which was also interesting.
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      • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
        Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

        wikipedia baby.
        is wikipedia australian?
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  • Profile picture of the author agc
    Ha ha they deleted my post because it was "political". Wtf do they think the OP is?

    srsly.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by agc View Post

      Ha ha they deleted my post because it was "political". Wtf do they think the OP is?

      srsly.

      That's especially funny considering the thread subject.




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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    If it's that big of a deal, move to Las Vegas. Two words you never hear in Las Vegas are "last call".
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  • Profile picture of the author agc
    They said "it might offend someone"

    I'm guessing I know exactly which offended SUTA did the complaining.

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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    There are lockout laws and enforced closing times being imposed by different local governments.

    Today my state of Queensland paseds a bill in their local parliament to shut bars at 2am with the exception of 15 venues deemed in a designated precinct where they will have a lockout provision where you have to be in the bar before the lockout time and then if you leave you are not getting into another bar.

    There has been a lot of deaths and serious injuries caused by "One Punch" or "King Hit" as mentioned earlier in the thread.

    Someone usually an innocent bystander is hit from behind by a drunk...often probably also on other substances also...methamphetamine.

    The victims suffer serious brain damage when they hit the curb coupled with the initial punch.

    The debate in Australia is torn between the businesses that want to trade and the families and people who are sick of hearing about the next victim.

    The case for reduced trading has some tests behind it with various cities trialing reduced trading and the admissions to hospital have been reduced in a few areas...notably alcohol induced injuries, spousal abuse and those other issues related to people drinking to not excess but to another whole level.

    Given Australia's record on dealing with gun laws you can expect more restrictions in relation to alcohol.

    There will be more education programs.

    We may even get legalised cannabis at first for medicinal use but at least discussions are happening surrounding the legal drugs that are causing deaths...smoking and alcohol...and the government has become more progressive slightly with the leadership moving in a different direction.

    Personally I think a lot of parents worry about their kids going out into the nightclub districts at night when they have a serious risk of injury when they are just going out for fun.

    It will take a couple of generations to change the culture.

    Best regards,

    Ozi
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  • Profile picture of the author agc
    To be fair, there is a certain class of scumbag that does that here... they call it "knockout game". Worthless trash punks. They should be strapped to a pole and have a 2" strip of flesh peeled from each leg, and a 1/2 strip peeled from their face. No anesthetic.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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      Originally Posted by agc View Post

      To be fair, there is a certain class of scumbag that does that here... they call it "knockout game". Worthless trash punks. They should be strapped to a pole and have a 2" strip of flesh peeled from each leg, and a 1/2 strip peeled from their face. No anesthetic.
      I'll be darned. First I've ever heard of this at all, but there's actually info in Wikipedia about it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knockout_game
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  • Profile picture of the author Regional Warrior
    All I am going write is way too late for a mates Son who has been in a coma for 8 months , all started because some drunk walk up and asked for light "he did not smoke" walk away and was coward punch from behind
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  • Profile picture of the author agc
    ubiquitous wearable body cameras cant get here fast enough for me.

    We need some hard laws around admissability as evidence... but overall a whole lot of dark needs to be dragged into the light.
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