Open letter to Barry O’Farrell
We have known each other for a long time. I love you like a brother but all this alcohol fuelled violence simply has to stop.
Too many people and families are suffering. Rarely a week goes by now without at least one story of a critically ill person fighting for their life in hospital emergency rooms. In fact, a survey of 92 emergency departments has revealed that up to 1 in 3 patients attending hospital at 2am last Saturday was as a result of alcohol abuse. I personally know the devastating effect tanked up kids killing someone can have on families. It happened to mine. Forty years ago my brother was killed by drunken youths and it took thirty years before my father could put my brother’s photograph up on the wall again. My heart bleeds for those families of victims regularly appealing to the public for help to find those who king hit their children.
Barry, too many people are being injured. There is too much drunken violence on the streets. I read that up to 70% of police time is taken up by drunken violence and hospital emergency wards are described as war zones on Friday and Saturday nights.
I, and many others, believe increasing the number of CCTV cameras and installing ID scanners at venues will do nothing to prevent drunken violence. These are the options the liquor industry favour, for obvious reasons.
What we do know is that the Newcastle experience works. We know from that 1am lockouts and early closing work. And yet, against the vast bulk of police and expert advice, you refuse to do something similar in Kings Cross and the city.
I honestly believe you do care about the people and families of this State. I honestly believe you are a good man. In fact, I know you are. I know how hard it must be for you to deal with this issue because of the pressures that must come to you from so many quarters. But the plain truth is once people get tanked up with alcohol they are not going to worry about tougher laws, CCTV cameras or even “community attitudes”. Drunks have no recourse to reason; they only have their fists.
One more young person killed is one too many, but it’s a tragedy that is likely to happen unless you act. I appeal to you as the good man I know you are to help stop this violence. Please introduce the Newcastle solution now. I don’t want any more fathers to have to lock away their son’s photographs for thirty years before they can bear to look at them again.
Your good friend and supporter