The following letter from 2011RA member Patrick McGrath was published in the Wentworth Courier on June 13th 2012
Last March, after pressure from residents, Clover Moore was forced to announce a forum on the deteriorating night-time environment in Kings Cross. But the meeting last Tuesday night was instead dominated by Industry as representatives from the AHA and/or licenced premises were at every table, aggressively dismissing and belittling residents’ calls for reform. In a meeting that lasted over two hours just one resident was allowed to speak for three minutes only with no questions from the floor permitted; our appeals for a trial of early closing and a freeze on DA approvals involving liquor licenses were mysteriously re-translated by table spokespersons, via games involving bits of coloured paper, into more taxis to help late night drunks, and quieter bottle collections!
The charade of hand wringing and crocodile tears from Clover Moore and crew is offensive; they have no interest in addressing the root cause of the worsening situation in Kings Cross – too much alcohol – instead offering shallow band-aid solutions like street ambassadors and food carts to prop it up. NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch was present at the meeting and told ABC Radio: “The point has well and truly been passed where saturation point has been reached in Kings Cross – that happened years ago’
We don’t need the research, we know what the problems are: there are too many licensed premises, they trade too long. But nobody is listening.