New South Wales (NSW) Deputy Premier Troy Grant says he will support Sydney's 1.30am lockout for bars and clubs being pushed back to 3am if their official review recommends it.
The Daily Telegraph reports Grant, the state's deputy leader under Premier Mike Baird, said evidence showed the time of last drinks, currently 3am in central Sydney, was what mattered in reducing violence and crime, the reason given for the laws' introduction, not lockout times.
Former High Court judge Ian Callinan is currently leading the review into the laws, introduced in February 2014, with recommendations to be made to the government next month.
“If Callinan recommends pushing the lockouts back, I think it’s something we absolutely should do. If you’re trying to control the quantity of alcohol people consume ... last drinks is most effective,” Mr Grant said.
In relation to a statewide ban on the sale of takeaway alcohol after 10pm he added it was: “hard to see where the justification was for the 10pm bottle shop closures in the first place.”
The comments follow the NSW Police Association's backing of a later lockout time in May.
Sydney's lockout laws have been behind the demise of many of the city's much-loved bars and clubs since their introduction, and have drawn criticism from Russell Brand, Wu-Tang Clan, Flight Facilities and more.
Scott Carbines is Mixmag's Australian Digital Content Editor, follow him on Twitter