Newcastle research that evaluated alcohol restrictions in Newcastle has underpinned sweeping statewide changes to curb alcohol-fuelled violence.

Newcastle research underpins statewide alcohol restrictions

22 January 2014

University of Newcastle research that evaluated alcohol restrictions in Newcastle, identifying a 37 per cent drop in assaults, has underpinned sweeping changes announced by the State Government to curb alcohol-fuelled violence in Sydney.

The changes include new trading limits in the Sydney CBD, a freeze on new liquor licences, and the statewide closure of bottle shops at 10pm. Sentences for serious assaults involving alcohol will also be increased by two years.

The Sydney measures echo those that have been in place for inner Newcastle venues after a Liquor Administration Board Decision in 2008.

The 'Newcastle solution', as referred to by Premier Barry O'Farrell, includes 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks.

The Newcastle 3.30am closures measures, combined with 1.30am lockouts, resulted in a 37 per cent drop in assaults, according to one of Australia's leading researchers on alcohol and violence, Professor Kypros Kypri from the University of Newcastle's School of Medicine and Public Health.

Professor Kypri has welcomed Premier Barry O'Farrell's decision to introduce lockouts in the Sydney CBD.

"It's likely to reduce the incidence of assault," he told News 24.

"Certainly the number of hours in which premises remain open is associated with increased harm.

"For each hour that you permit premises to open beyond midnight you end up with large increases in assault rates, so this is a step in the right direction." 

The research:

Kypri K, Jones C, McElduff P, Barker DJ, 'Effects of restricting pub closing times on night-time assaults in an Australian city', Addiction, 106 303-310 (2011) [C1] 

In the media:

One-punch laws': Sweeping changes to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence in SydneyABC News

Grog-violence sentencing to put 1000 more in prisonThe Australian

NSW announces action on alcohol-fuelled violence - 7.30 Report

Broad support for NSW alcohol crackdown Sydney Morning Herald

Contact: Carmen Swadling, Media and Public Relations
Contact Phone: +61 2 4985 4276 and 0428 038 477.
Contact Email: media@newcastle.edu.au