Mr Souris said the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has granted two 12-month banning orders following applications by NSW Police and is currently assessing another 14 long-term banning order applications from police.
He said the long-term banning orders were among a range of measures introduced by the NSW Government as part of its commitment to reduce alcohol-related violence and increase safety in the Kings Cross precinct.
“Police can apply to the Authority for banning orders of up to 12 months where the person has been charged with or found guilty of a serious criminal offence involving alcohol-related violence or has been issued with three temporary banning orders in the previous 12 months,” Mr Souris said.
“The Authority has determined to issue two 12-month banning orders coming into force on January 10.
“Maximum court imposed penalties of $5,500 or an on-the-spot fine of $2,200 apply where a person who is subject to a long-term banning order enters or attempts to enter any high risk venue during the banning period.
“High risk venues are those that trade after midnight, have a capacity of more than 120 patrons, or are designated as such by the Police Commissioner and the Director General of NSW Trade & Investment.
“Individuals are given 21 days to make a submission to the Authority in relation to the proposed banning order. In these two cases, they were not contested.
“Long term banning orders are reviewable by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal (now called NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal).
“I understand the Authority is currently assessing another 14 long-term banning order applications from police.
Mr Souris said the NSW Government will shortly issue a new call for tenders for a supplier and operator for the ID scanning system to be installed at the 35 high risk licensed venues in the Kings Cross precinct.
“The use of ID scanners will support the banning orders on troublemakers by helping to identify them before they can enter licensed venues,” he said.
“The NSW Government has taken over the tender process from the King Cross Liquor Accord.
“This move, supported by senior NSW Police, comes after the unsuccessful tendering process conducted by the Kings Cross Liquor Accord, which could not be taken further, due to probity issues, policing issues and the withdrawal of some applicants.
“A confirmed start date for the ID scanners will require the tender and probity processes to be completed and an approved provider confirmed.”
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Michael Gallacher, said we are sending a loud and clear message that thugs have no place in Kings Cross.
“If you are violent or aggressive or if you just can’t handle a drink, I suggest you sit at home and rent a movie, because you’re not welcome in Kings Cross anymore.
“The fact is a small percentage of violent individuals are responsible for the vicious, unprovoked assaults we’ve recently seen in our entertainment precincts.
“The majority of people do the right thing, that’s why we are punishing these individuals and not the law abiding citizens who want to have a safe and enjoyable night out”.
Mr Souris said the Government has achieved significant reductions in violence with a range of tailored measures for Kings Cross.
He said according to the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, since the Government’s first phase of measures came into effect in December 2012 until 30 June 2013, there has been a 25.5 per cent reduction in violent incidents on licensed premises in Kings Cross.
A range of stringent operating restrictions apply to venues in the Kings Cross precinct including:
- Licensees, bar staff and security personnel to transition to Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) photo competency cards by 1 March 2013, to ensure they have up-to-date knowledge of RSA requirements;
- Alcohol sales to cease one hour before closing for venues that trade after 2am on weekends;
- 'Time-outs' for 24-hour premises on weekends with no alcohol sold between 4am and 5am;
- Ban on glass after midnight on all nights;
- Drink restrictions after midnight on weekends including no shots, doubles, or ready to drink (RTD) beverages above 5% alcohol, and no more than four alcoholic drinks per person per order;
- Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) marshals after midnight on weekends;
- CCTV systems to be maintained on premises under strict conditions;
- 'Round the clock' incident registers to be kept by all venues to record any violent incidents;
- Requirement for crime scene preservation following violent incidents;
- Prevention of entry to outlaw motorcycle gang members;
- Removal of street litter from outside of premises;
- Promotion of late night transport options by venues;
- Promotion of patron and customer responsibility measures;
- Quarterly reporting of alcohol sales data from 1 January 2014.
Other measures implemented in Kings Cross include:
- Powers to allow for irresponsible bar staff to have their Responsible Service of Alcohol cards revoked or cancelled;
- Requirement for approved managers to be present in high risk licensed venues to assist in supervising and managing the conduct of the business;
- Requirement for hours of operation signs to be displayed by licensed venues.