The Greens have today called on the NSW Government to release advice provided to the NSW Government by former High Court Judge Ian Callinan into its 'three strikes' policy, currently subject to proposed legislative changes.
The Liquor Amendment (Reviews) Bill 2017 will be debated in Parliament this week and seeks to transfer strikes from the owner of venues and liquor licence holders to the licensee or manager of the premises. The changes mean venue owners will be able to avoid responsibility for breaches of licence conditions.
The Honourable Ian Callinan was appointed by the Government to conduct a review into liquor law changes including the controversial lockouts and last drinks policy. The review report was released in September 2016.
Additional advice was sought into the 'three strikes' policy but has not been released.
Greens Member for Newtown and Nightime Culture and Economy spokesperson, Jenny Leong MP said, "Once again we are seeing this NSW Government being quick to introduce blanket punishment and crackdowns on individual members of the community while letting the big pub barons off the hook."
"We're left with the ridiculous situation that members of the Australian Hotels Association and prominent publicans have been given extracts of the report relevant to them but the public and decision makers are being kept in the dark.
"If the Government actually has advice from Mr Callinan that recommends making these changes, then why the secrecy?"
"The community wants to be able to go out and enjoy the nightlife in Sydney and know venues are doing the right thing. The proposed changes put that at risk," she said.
Greens Liquor and Gaming spokesperson Justin Field challenged the Government in question time today to release the advice from Mr Callinan.
Mr Field said, "The Government's response fails the pub test. I asked the question straight up: why the advice hadn't been released and when it would be and the Government had no credible answer.
"It's unacceptable that the parliament will consider changes to legislation on the three strikes policy when the advice the Government is relying on to justify the changes hasn't been made available to the public or to decision makers.
"Minister Toole is establishing a record of hiding data from the community - he has failed to disclose critical gambling harm data and now has another report locked away in his desk. The community deserves better," Mr Field said.