The following letter by 2011RA member Carole Ferrier was published in the Wentworth Courier on June 13th 2012:
On a wild Tuesday night, after receiving personal invitations and emails from Clover Moore, I attended a workshop on late-night trading in Kings Cross. I had hoped residents might finally have a say on what’s happening in our neighbourhood but instead I found it tightly stage-managed by City of Sydney staff and dominated by the liquor industry. Each table had at least two members from industry and two council staff. Clover and her speakers talked for over 1 hr 45 minutes (!!) but residents had only one person speak for 3 minutes. Residents were effectively silenced, with no questions from the floor permitted.
This was supposedly to be a meeting for residents, but was dominated by council and liquor industry. The liquor industry in tandem with council has created the problem in Kings Cross/Potts Point, and they effectively controlled the meeting.
If the Industry complied with their DA and license conditions so many problems would disappear, but compliance is virtually non-existent. Council backs the liquor industry and expects the local police to deal with the resulting violence and public disorder.
NSW Police Asst Commissioner Murdoch was the only one who spoke up on behalf of residents, pointing out “the point has been passed where we know the problems: too many premises, they trade too long – do something”.
The final insult to residents was in Clover’s ‘e-news’ the next day: “On Wednesday, I hosted another round table with stakeholders including the AHA, Clubs NSW and the police on our draft late night economy policy”. Why were residents not invited to this meeting? The AHA and stakeholders were allowed to hijack the residents meeting. But residents no longer matter – it appears the only way Clover and her political team will listen to us is at election time.