"Why I love lockout laws."

The first time I ever ventured into the city for a night out my mum gave me a parting message.

“Remember,” she said sternly. “Nothing good ever happens after 2am.”

She was right. If there’s one place I want to be at 2am on any given night, it’s in bed. Asleep.

If for some ungodly reason I am awake past midnight, I don’t want to be spending $10 on a vodka soda or sitting on the loo playing Sudoku in a nightclub toilet as I wait for my friends to be ready to leave.

I want to be home. Watching Law and Order SVU. Or dunking a Scotch Finger in my cup of Tea.

Just havin a good time with my cat.

Which is why, as a newly-christened resident of Sydney, the prospect of moving to a town with some of the country’s strictest lock out laws – which see patrons barred from entry from 1.30am and last drinks at 3am – never really phased me.

A big night on the booze isn’t for everybody (post continues after video):

In fact, truth be told, I’m actually quite a fan. When I once would have crafted an excuse about my need to cut my night short, I now duck outside and find myself unable to reenter the venue and quickly slip into a cab and head home. Last drinks at 3am? What a shame. I guess it’s time to call it a night.

Of course, share this view with any seasoned Sydney-sider who enjoys a night on the town and you will be met with a vicious retort. It’s people like me who are destroying the sanctity of the city’s nightlife, not the drunken revellers who made the lock out laws seem like a good idea in the first place.

3am curfew I AM READY FOR YOU.

Reportedly, once thriving businesses are closing down and people are losing their jobs, if this is true, I can see why some people are pissed off. And as someone who enjoys a glass of vino or a good gin and tonic from time to time, I find it baffling grown adults aren’t trusted to purchase booze past 10pm.

Last week, a column published on LinkedIn by entrepreneur Matt Barrie struck a chord with businesses and patrons alike. Barrie – the head of – lamented “the total and utter destruction of Sydney’s nightlife is almost complete”.

Then, over the weekend, a Paddington restaurant was questioned over concerns the blackboard advertising its wine list encouraged antisocial behaviour.


Is this ludicrous? Absolutely. But it’s also disappointing the actions of a few required the government to consider these regulations to be a necessary solution to combating a growing problem.

And in their criticisms of the regulations, people seem to forget the laws exist in an effort to stop people dying from senseless and unexplained acts of alcohol fuelled violence.

NSW Premier Mike Baird. Image via Facebook (Mike Baird).

In a post published by Mike Baird on Facebook yesterday, the Premier refuted claims the laws were destroying the city.

“There has been a growing hysteria this week about nightlife in Sydney,” Baird wrote. “The main complaints seem to be that you can’t drink till dawn any more and you can’t impulse-buy a bottle of white after 10pm.”

“I understand this presents an inconvenience. Some say this makes us an international embarrassment. Except, assaults are down by 42.2 per cent. And there is nothing embarrassing about that.”

kings cross darlinghurst
King’s Cross. Image via Getty.

It’s not just the ‘Nanna’s’ of the world who like to call it a night a little earlier than most that are enjoying the new Sydney. It’s the doctors in our emergency rooms who are seeing less patients presenting with alcohol related injuries.

The transport workers who are often abused in their efforts to get people home. And the men and women walking the streets at night who have reported that they feel safer in their own city.

And it’s young adults like teenager Cole Miller, whose senseless death after being coward hit in the head during a night out in Brisbane earlier this year highlighted the perils of alcohol fuelled violence in our cities.

It might not be everyone’s cup of tea or shot of vodka, you might find it archaic and extreme, but for many people the lock out laws aren’t just helping us get home to get a good night’s sleep, they’re keeping us safer when we’re out.

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