The NSW State government has responded positively to my request for a relaxation of licenced venue lockout laws in Oxford Street for this year’s 40th anniversary Mardi Gras celebration.
“I wrote to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian several weeks ago suggesting that relaxing the lockouts for this important occasion would be a special gesture of goodwill for the LGBTIQ community, many members of which still hold raw memories of the terrible events which surrounded the first Mardi Gras in 1978,” Councillor Forster said. “Confirmation that the government has agreed to the exemption is also particularly poignant given the community is celebrating the historic passing of Australia’s same-sex marriage legislation on 7 December 2017.”
“It was obvious four years ago that some sort of circuit breaker was required to end the cycle of alcohol-fuelled street violence, particularly in Kings Cross. These laws have now served their purpose, however, and it may be possible that they can safely be wound back,” Councillor Forster said. “I think the exemptions announced today could serve as a useful trial, providing evidence as to whether consideration can be given to the relaxation of the 1:30am lockout more broadly,” she added.