Venue wins right to see crackdown data

Fri August 31, 2012 4:28pm

THE owner of a Kings Cross venue has won the right to see data used by the NSW government to justify a crackdown on the popular entertainment spot.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell earlier this month announced a series alcohol restrictions to tackle booze-fuelled violence in the Cross, including a ban on selling shots, doubles and ready-to-drink beverages after midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) had refused to provide owners of the Kings Cross Hotel, Solotel Hospitality Group, with any information used to justify the tough new license restrictions.

However, on Friday the Supreme Court ordered the OLGR to disclose the information within seven days.

Solotel chief executive Andrew Gibbs questioned why the OLGR did not want to release the raw data behind the licensing restrictions, which are being introduced in response to the death of teenager Tom Kelly in July.

Asked if he suspected that the motivation for the crackdown was political rather than about crime prevention, Mr Gibbs said: "It does make us curious that we weren't provided access to that information".

"We do wonder what the information contains that they were so reticent to give to us," Mr Gibbs told reporters in Sydney.

"We find it quite amazing that the (OLGR) is looking at making quite big and important decisions, and decisions that could affect the viability of a lot of businesses and affect the night out of thousands of people in the Kings Cross area ... without allowing us proper access to the information."

Mr Kelly, 18, died after being king-hit on a night out in the popular city entertainment strip - sparking debate on how to tackle alcohol-related violence in the area.

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