Give Newcastle a fair go...
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Dear Jonathan Horton QC
I love Newcastle. I want to see it prosper. I want to be proud of my city and I want to enjoy a vibrant night time economy.
As you carry out your review of current licensing conditions that affect the specified venues in my city, I ask you to consider all we have learned in the past decade. I ask you to allow us the freedom to live in a city that we can be proud to call home.
And Newcastle is a city. In NSW, it is second in size only to Sydney, and as such, I would like to enjoy parity with Sydney - where laws were reviewed after just two years based on modern views on restrictions - including parity of lock out times and the freedom to purchase drinks of my choice until 12am, so long as its contents are listed.
In the past decade we have experienced a decline in the occurrence of non-domestic assaults at licensed venues, but so have other areas that are comparable to Newcastle.
Parramatta, Penrith, Wollongong have also experienced declines, some of up to 70%, and these are areas with no lock out restrictions at all.
We have learned our lesson and we have grown, both as a city and as a community.
Please allow us the chance to enjoy the freedoms we have earned together.
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