NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has today announced his support for pushing closing times for takeaway alcohol sales back an hour in metropolitan areas – but says a different approach is needed for regional areas.

Earlier this week, former High Court Judge Ian Callinan recommended - in his review of liquor laws - shifting the closing time for takeaway alcohol sales from 10pm to 11pm, and for the home delivery of alcohol to be allowed until midnight. 

Mr Foley is calling for takeaway alcohol sales in regional areas to be allowed until midnight – reinstating trading hours allowed before the 2014 lock-out laws.

While home delivery is a viable option in Sydney, it is not available as a service in country towns.

The Baird-Grant Government’s Sydney-centric law has had a negative result on many regional pubs and hotels, with some reporting it has damaged their reputations.

In his review, Mr Callinan conceded that hotels in regional NSW make a contribution to the social life of the district by sponsoring sport and other community activities and in some places hotels are the only venues for night-time entertainment.

In its submission to the review, the Australian Hotels Association stated that a survey it had undertaken of regional and rural hoteliers revealed that 52.8 per cent of hotels had either reduced the number of staff working hours or permanently put off staff due to the impact of the 10pm takeaway restriction.

NSW Labor will continue to consult stakeholders before reaching a policy position on the recommendation to extend by half an hour the 1:30am lock out and 3am last drink provisions. 

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Regional communities should not be penalised by a law that was designed to tackle the problems of Kings Cross, in Sydney.

“Regional workers and hoteliers have suffered as a result of the Baird-Grant Government Sydney-centric laws.

“Premier Mike Baird and his Deputy Troy Grant should allow takeaway alcohol sales in regional areas to take place until midnight once again.

“We can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach here. What works for Darlinghurst doesn’t always work for Dubbo.”

Quotes attributable to Labor Candidate for Orange Bernard Fitzsimon

“I have heard from Orange locals first-hand – that they’re sick of Mike Baird and Troy Grant’s city-centric attitude.

“Mr Baird and Mr Grant didn’t listen to Orange locals on the greyhound industry ban – I’m urging them to listen now.”