opinion

"I never agree with Alan Jones. But he just put into words how I feel about lockout laws."

“These laws have crippled business and crippled Sydney as an international city. It’s reputation has been damaged. They should be abandoned. Open up the city.”

This is what shock jock Alan Jones said on his 2GB morning show today. And I have to admit, I agree with him.

I don’t often agree with Alan Jones. In fact, I don’t think I have every agreed with him before.

I didn’t, for example, agree with his performance on ABC’s Q&A on Monday night, where he berated the panel and audience for believing in climate change.

The arrogance of his argument left me perplexed and pretty pissed off.

Here’s a snippet if you missed it. Post continues after video.

Video by ABC

I didn’t agree with his defence of Israel Folau’s high breach ruling from the Wallabies earlier this month for his homophobic, offensive and rude social media behaviour.

I found his comments in 2012 about then Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father “dying of shame” particularly abhorrent.

I could write a book filled with examples of things I don’t agree with Alan Jones about.

alan-jones-lib-spill
"Women are destroying the joint." Yeah, wasn't a fan of that comment directed at women in politics. Image: Getty.
ADVERTISEMENT

Perhaps that's why I was so surprised to find myself nodding along as I listened to his on-air rant about Sydney's lockout laws this morning.

A man I am usually completely at odds with was voicing my every opinion on a very controversial topic.

I was genuinely surprised by my obedient agreeance.

For those not familiar, the lockout laws were introduced in 2014 to help reduce alcohol fuelled violence in the city.

The legislation meant bars, pubs and clubs in the CBD locked out new patrons from 1.30am and last drinks were at 3am.

This week, the NSW Government announced the creation of a cross-party parliamentary committee to look into the laws and review them.

"After five years of operation, it makes sense for us to now take stock and examine whether any further changes should be made," said Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Jones accused Berejiklian of being too "cautious."

He said the death of Thomas Kelly whose alcohol fuelled coward punch death sparked the laws' invention was a tragedy.

But he accused the government of "not solving the problem posed by his death in the right way."

He made note of the fact Kelly's attacker bought his booze from Quakers Hill in Sydney's northwest, no where near an inner-city bar.

Thomas Kelly died after being coward punched in Sydney's Kings Cross. Image: Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation.
ADVERTISEMENT

“The lockout laws were typically a knee-jerk reaction to the tragic death of a young man," he told his loyal listeners.

I believe this completely.

The government has always defended its lockout laws, especially given the decline in violence that's happened as a result.

“You dopes. Of course it’s declined. There’s no one there to be violent towards. The place is a morgue," Jones said.

He's right. It is a morgue.

Anyone who has found themselves wandering the Sydney CBD on a Friday or Saturday night would think it was a Tuesday.

There is no one there. Why would they bother? Most of the good bars have closed now anyway.

Operator of the Beauchamp Hotel on Oxford Street Claude Bereny told the Telegraph, foot traffic to his establishment dropped by 70-percent when the laws were introduced.

If you've ever travelled to New York, Milan, Paris, London; their cities are alive at night - they buzz. Sydney's nightlife is an embarrassment. At most places you're being 'shhh'ed' by 10pm and kicked to the curb by midnight.

“We either want an international city or we don’t, and rather than waste time or money on lockout laws that have already destroyed business, tip some more money into the police force," Jones told his radio show this morning.

He's right. I agree. And I am not the only one. Alan Jones isn't the only one.

There have been widespread protests since the lockout laws' introduction.  Even the Lord Mayor Clover Moore has called for them to be relaxed.

The NSW government claims they did relax them. They allowed 27 venues with live entertainment to stay open and serve drinks for HALF AN HOUR LONGER.

Sigh.

In the words of Alan Jones, a phrase I never thought I'd utter; “All the lockout laws have done is make people go broke, and we don’t need a damned committee to tell us where to go next.”

The committee will report back to NSW Parliament with its findings on September 30.

READ: "Why I love lockout laws."

What do you think of Sydney's lockout laws? Let us know in the comments. 

00:00 / ???