Premier Barry O'Farrell’s new alcohol laws could soon be legislated after they passed through the States Lower House of Parliament this afternoon during a specially convened sitting.
Source:
NITV News
30 Jan 2014 - 4:42 PM  UPDATED 30 Jan 2014 - 6:29 PM

If the legislation is passed, alcohol will not be sold past 3am, clubs would lock out patrons by 1am and mandatory sentencing would apply to those found guilty of fatally punching someone while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The Aboriginal community fears these laws will put more of their people behind bars.

"Our people drink, our people fight, not all of them, but a minority do," said Aboriginal social justice campaigner Ray Jackson. "And the coppers are going to concentrate on those people. They're going to go before the courts, under mandatory sentencing and be slammed straight into jail,”

The Greens Party is also showing a lack of support for the proposed laws.

"What we want to see as responsible lawmakers is whatever we can [to do]...to stop those coward punches, to stop alcohol-fuelled violence," said Green’s member David Shoebridge.

"But the mandatory sentencing provisions that this government is bringing in will not do that. All the evidence says it won't do it."

The Greens are concerned the alcohol reforms won't target the people they were intended for.

"But what we will see is harsh and draconian laws that are going to seriously impact on some of the most disadvantaged people who most often come into contact with police," said Mr Shoebridge.

Mr Shoebridge warned NITV News of other mandatory sentencing laws expected to be put through parliament next month.

He says they could further exacerbate the existing problem.

"Those laws will rope in thousands of additional people into our criminal justice system. Our estimate is that it will see our prison population in New South Wales increase by 50 per cent over the next two years," said Mr Shoebridge. "And we know from other jurisdictions it'll be Aboriginal Australians, the mentally ill young people and homeless people who will overwhelmingly be locked up under those laws,”

The laws are a result of highly publicised incidents in Sydney's CBD and have received bi-partisan support by both of the major parties.