Opposition grows to Syd lockout law review

Visitors to Kings Cross in July, 2012, before Sydney's controversial lockout and last drink laws were introduced. (AAP)

Supporters of Sydney's controversial lockout laws say changing them now would bring "carnage" back to the streets.

Health professionals, alcohol experts and campaigners have attacked plans to review Sydney's lockout laws.

The father of one-punch victim Thomas Kelly said NSW Premier Mike Baird had "categorically" assured him the laws wouldn't be changed before 2016, amid claims the government is buckling to the powerful alcohol lobby by undertaking a review in June.

"People should come before power and money," said Ralph Kelly, who lobbied tirelessly for anti-violence laws after his son was killed in an unprovoked attack in Kings Cross in 2012.

The NSW ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAAPA) has called on acting Premier Troy Grant to give his assurance the laws, which require licensed premises in central Sydney and Kings Cross to lock out patrons from 1.30am and stop serving alcohol at 3am, won't be reversed.

Since being introduced last year, pubs and clubs have complained of profit losses of up to 40 per cent.

But head injuries caused by drunken punch-ups on Sydney's nightclub strip have also plummeted.

Dr Timothy Steel, head of neurosurgery at St Vincent's Hospital, said the number of Kings Cross revellers being admitted with serious head injuries was down 80 per cent from 2013 to 2014.

Last Drinks coalition spokesman and Health Services Union NSW secretary Gerard Hayes fears a return to the "carnage" of the past.

"We can't afford to go back to the days when people were terrified to walk through the streets of Kings Cross after dark," he said.

Michael Thorn, CEO of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, says the government shouldn't bow to pressure.

"The liquor industry has a long record of intimidating governments, not just in NSW but around the country," he told Macquarie Radio.

But Mr Grant has denied such influence.

"The (alcohol lobby) industry haven't been knocking on my door about this," he said.

He says the review will be carried out in June after the government receives data on crime statistics over the past 12 months.

The government, he says, will also look at information from hospitals, the local community and the nightclub industry.

"We want to ensure our measures are being effective in targeting alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour, and strike the right balance between industry and individual responsibility," he said.

Police say there is no evidence to prove the problems have moved elsewhere.

Kings Cross Liquor Accord chief executive Doug Grand says the laws have forced the closure of a number of licensed venues, and curtailed the opening hours of others.

Source AAP

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