CBD nightclub closed after string of alcohol-fuelled violence
The Carter nightclub in Sydney’s CBD was temporarily closed for 48 hours from 6pm Friday night after intoxication and violence triggered police attendance three weekends in a row.
The continued threat to public safety prompted NSW Police to refer the matter to the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority to issue the order under the Liquor Act 2007. The licensee conceded the problems raised by police and voluntarily agreed to the closure.
Three weeks ago a police officer was punched in the face while breaking up a fight outside the venue, and another man was assaulted outside the venue by an unknown assailant. Additionally, two patrons were searched and charged with possession of prohibited drugs.
The following weekend, police required back up to respond to a large crowd of intoxicated people who were patrons of the venue.
Inside the venue police observed additional intoxicated patrons, including a patron drinking from a champagne bottle. They came across a man bleeding profusely from the nose who admitted he had slipped over because he was drunk, and while police were speaking to the manager, a fight broke out involving seven patrons.
After viewing CCTV footage, police found a fight had also occurred before their arrival. The manager agreed to voluntarily close the venue for the weekend after police raised concerns for public safety.
The following weekend, plain clothes police conducted a visit and observed The Carter’s on-duty security guard push a patron into street traffic, push him to the ground, and then into a stone wall where he hit his head. The security guard was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Chair of the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority, Philip Crawford, said the string of serious breaches of the Act showed the venue posed a significant threat to public health and safety, permitting intoxication of patrons and violent conduct at the premises.
“The licensee of The Carter was not sufficiently prepared to ensure its safe operation in the wake of recent COVID lockdowns,” Mr Crawford said.
“It’s only been a few weeks since pubs and clubs reopened and each weekend police responded to serious incidents at the venue, incidents resulting in charges being laid in court.
“Intervention was clearly needed, and the Authority welcomes the licensee’s cooperation with the closure.”
The licensee has also agreed to develop and implement a new plan of management to make the venue safer when it reopens.
In the five years to 2021, The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority has received four short-term venue closure applications and issued one other closure order.