Video transcript
NSW Premier's Debating Challenge 2016 - Year 11 Metropolitan Final

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HARRY LY: Welcome to the State Final of the Premier's Debating Challenge for Years 11 for the Karl Cramp trophy. This debate is between Hornsby Girls High School and Caringbah High School. The affirmative team from Hornsby Girls High School is first Alisha, second speaker, Nishka, third speaker, Lily, fourth speaker, Mary. The negative team from Caringbah High School is first speaker Charlotte, second speaker, Joshua, third speaker, Dylan, fourth speaker, Michael.

Each speaker may speak for 8 minutes. There will be a warning bell at 6 minutes with 2 bells at 8 minutes to indicate that the speaker's time has expired. A bell will be rung continuously if a speaker exceeds a maximum time limit for more than one minute. The topic for this debate is that we should revoke the lockout laws. The first affirmative speaker, Alisha, will begin the debate.


ALISHA MATHIAS: So, today, we agree that there are instances of alcohol-fueled violence and one-punch attacks, such as the issue of Thomas Kelly and Kieran Loveridge. We agree that there is a problem, but we believe that lockout laws are not the way to solve them. Because at the end of the day, acts of alcohol-fueled violence can happen at any time, not just after 1:00 or 2:00 AM.

And so we see the definition of lockout laws to be laws pertaining to stopping individuals from entering establishments and being sold alcohol after a certain hour. And as affirmative team today, we believe that we need to change the mindset and culture of alcohol and nightlife, rather than imposing curfews that will increase the number of disgruntled youth on the streets and could spiral into a slippery, slippery slope of closed businesses and dead nightlife.

And so we propose a model to be implemented by 2017. And this covers a number of things. We suggest, under our model, to enforce media campaigns that show the consequences of getting drunk in terms of violence.

This can extend to a constant reinforcement in bars and nightclubs and pubs of responsible drinking. This is a proactive approach. And, furthermore, we believe that public awareness already exists in the forms of mandatory sentencing as a response to lockout laws. And this is an already effective response.

We have these responses, like police presence and mandatory sentencing. Bartenders can refuse to sell alcohol to people that they deem dangerous. They have this discretion.

We have these safeguards that don't come with the exceedingly negative impacts of lockout laws. We have the safeguards that do not infringe on the liberty of the majority. We have existing safeguards that don't impact the culture and business of Australian nightlife.

And so, as first speaker today, I will be talking about the effectiveness of these other mechanisms, weighing this against the lockout laws and, further, the impracticalities of lockout laws. My second speaker, Nishka, will be talking about the fact that alcohol-fueled violence doesn't limit itself to a certain time and the detrimental impacts of lockout laws on key stakeholders within the Australian public. And now to my substantive.

As we will elaborate through this debate, there are a number of problems associated with the immoral principles and the practicalities of lockout laws. Now Mike Baird has acknowledged a drop in crime and violence at nighttime in the CBD. But what we cannot be sure of is what is causing this drop. And we would say it's a number of other things that are not curfew-style regulations, which effectively achieve this.

One of these things is mandatory sentencing. And this is in response to one-punch laws, especially that of Kieran Loveridge. And people care about this more because it's a gaol sentence. And they're more likely to think about this before they go out overnight, rather than the impact of lockout laws when you're already out there and you're on the street and you can't enter another bar.

And we'd also go far as to say media attention has a significant impact on people's perspectives and is, therefore, an effective mechanism in terms of a culture of drunken violence. The media has historically been effective in changing mindsets, as was the case after the death of Mr. Kelly. They were very vocal and it increased public views and appreciation of the need to change the culture associated with drunken and disorderly conduct.

And these responses, we believe, are more likely to make people consider their actions before they go out in the night than a straight-out approach of curfew-style regulation and banning, something which, as my second speaker, Nishka, will elaborate on, people don't respond well to. People don't respond well to these ideas of bans, especially in the case of lockout laws because it has a detrimental impact on a number of key stakeholders, including the businesses and including the individuals who go out overnight.

Now the whole reason these laws exist are for the safety of the majority. And we don't believe that these laws guarantee the safety of the majority. There are serious issues with the practicality of lockout laws.

We saw them implemented in Kings Cross. And what's happened there is it's become, effectively-- it was a problem area. And it's now become, effectively, a dead spot. But this is not because people are going home. They don't pack up their kits at 1:30 and head off on a bus to head back home. Young people and people out in the city do not do that.

What's happening instead is that they are moving to other places where these laws aren't extending to. And so now you see the problem growing in areas such as Newtown. You see the problem growing in casinos where these laws don't exist.

And so you're effectively not changing this idea, not changing this culture, you're moving it to somewhere else. And, furthermore, by locking people up, you have more and more people on the streets. When they've come out of a bar at 1:30 at night and can't enter another bar, they're out on the streets--

[bell ringing]

--and this is where brawls, this is where fights, this is where alcohol-fueled violence occurs. And so we see a problem with a law that has a curfewed seller infringing on people's happiness and their going out on a Sunday night. And it's still not working because they're just going to other places.

And how do you respond to that? Do you respond to that by increasing lockout laws so that there is a curfew on every establishment in the city of Sydney? Quite frankly, this is not a practical approach. And it could be a slippery slope so that the entire city of Sydney is closed off at, say, midnight or 1:30. And this has a serious impact.

You end up with a scenario that is detrimental to businesses, that is detrimental to nightlife, and that is detrimental to the culture of Sydney. And so we suggest, today, as the affirmative team, that we look at approaches and we look at changing the culture and mindset through ways that already exist and through education that will not have the same negative impacts. Because lockout laws are simply not practical in achieving the change and that is to change the issues of alcohol-fueled violence within Sydney. Thank you.


CHARLOTTE MCKAY: Good morning, chairperson, opposition, and members of the audience. So the lockout laws were introduced in 2013 in response to horrific violence as a result of excessive drinking in Central Sydney. This violence, which has continued for several years, had ruined the lives of innocent bystanders such as Thomas Kelly and so many other cases that I can't even begin to name the victims of this horrific violence.

Public outrage led to these laws. And they've worked. Sydney's CBD is safer. The number of admissions to St. Vincent Hospital during these hours has decreased. And there is opportunity for economic growth for these laws.

Ultimately, these laws prioritise human life. And we are hence proud to disagree that we should revoke the lockout laws. So before I begin onto my case, I would just like to address some issues in the opposition's case.

The opposition came up with two main points today. Firstly, that these lockout laws aren't what's making the difference. And, secondly, that the lockout laws are just really impractical.

So on that first point, what is making the difference? The opposition have come out and seemed to suggest that what will make the difference for reducing the amount of crimes and to increase the security in these areas is an increase in advertising, more police presence, getting the public educated, having these mandatory sentencing, that the curfew just isn't effective, and it's not going to work.

Firstly, we'd like to point out that most of these strategies, aside from the curfew, were already in place before the curfew was introduced in 2013. And yet the sudden decrease and the amount of injuries related to alcohol in this period, only came in when these lockout laws came in. We'd like to see that there's a clear cause and effect in this case. Lockout laws are what is effective.

Also, we'd like to point out the argument of mandatory sentencing that saying this is what really made the difference. We'd just like to point out that most of these cases occur when people are incredibly drunk. They're not thinking straight, they're acting purely off their emotions.

And they're not really thinking, gee, I shouldn't fight that person because I'm going to go to prison. That it's angry. And that the rational kind of thinking that the opposition is suggesting that drunk people have isn't really realistic.

We'd also like to suggest, why not have both? We're not suggesting that we should stop education about alcohol. We're not suggesting that there shouldn't be a police presence in these areas which are prone to alcohol. We're just saying, why not continue a law which has been proven to decrease the amount of deaths in the CBD, in this area, to increase the security? We really think that this point about what has made the difference is really these lockout laws.

So onto the second main point that these laws are just really impractical and they don't do really much. They brought us this issue that people just don't pack up their bags and head home till 1:00 AM. That they don't just stop drinking there. We would like to point out, though, that these people move from a central CBD area and they spread out into smaller groups where they are less likely to be doing stupid things.

People in large groups do stupid things when they're drunk. That's how you get these big public brawls. And by spreading people out into other areas throughout Sydney, you're reducing this risk. You're stopping creating these hotspots of violence.

We'd also like to point out that people can drink safely in their homes. They'll leave the pub at 1:00 AM and continue drinking in their homes. Yes, they're still drinking, but they're putting their lives in less danger and they're putting the lives of the general population in less danger. So we think this is a really practical solution that's actually helping lives.

The opposition also brought up this issue of the casinos. And we'd just like to say that casinos are a really different beast in this issue. Bars and clubs are really targeted towards young people and casinos more towards older people. They don't have these big issues.

We agree casinos are an issue, but we think they need to be tackled with different legislation. And we think, regardless, that the lockout laws are incredibly effective. The opposition also brought this point that last drinks at 1:00 AM leaves people going out in the streets and doing stupid things.

We'd like to actually suggest that having bars close their doors at 11:00 PM, not allowing any new people in, actually encourages people to stay in the clubs for as long as possible. They're keeping themselves off the streets, off areas where they are a danger to the general public. And then at 1:00 AM, last drinks. Why would they loiter on the streets?

There's no real point. They'll go and move somewhere else, where there's alcohol, or go home. We don't think there's this real issue of people loitering on the streets getting into fights through these lockout laws. In fact, we think these lockout laws have helped that. And we just really see these lockout laws as a really practical solution.

So now I'll give my case. We agree with the opposition's definition, but we really disagree with their model. We believe we should stick to our current legislation on this issue because the opposition's model is ineffective and won't lead to real change.

Our first speaker will discuss how the lockout laws protect both the security and the safety of Sydney's residents. And our second speaker will discuss the economic opportunities that lockout laws can bring to Sydney. Onto our first point, the way the lockout law increases security in Sydney CBD and the safety of its residents.

Sydney's lockout laws restrict the service of alcohol in particular windows of time, in particular areas, in order to reduce crime in our CBD, which has one of the highest crime rates at this time of night. And it's worked in four main ways. Increasing the security of people who are drunk, the general public, staff, and those on the road. So onto this first point, security of drinkers.

For these lockout laws, which are stopping people from buying drinks past 1:00 AM and stopping them from going into new pubs past 11:00 PM, people are staying off the streets. They're staying in clubs where they're safer. And they're also getting less drunk because they have less access to drinks.

Intoxicated people are less aware. And because they are less aware and their thinking inhibited, they tend to do stupid things. Firstly, they can injure themselves or injure others.

But more than that, they can also start fights which give themselves assault charges which they have to do deal with for the rest of their lives. They can steal things, break property. They can have their drink spiked, so they can get taken advantage of by people who they think are just--

[bell ringing]

--helping them, but don't seem to really realise they're causing the problem. And for keeping these lockout laws, you're keeping these people safer. Secondly, we're keeping the general population safer. It's awfully horrific when somebody who's drunk does something really stupid and gets themselves, for example, hit by a car because they're drunk.

But what's even sadder is when an innocent bystander is walking through Kings Cross and gets smashed across the back of the head with a bottle for having done nothing wrong. These lockout laws are effective. And they increase the security for those who are just walking through these areas.

Secondly, with this point, the general population is protected because there are less people driving on these roads as well. Because people have been less drunk because of these lockout laws and because they're staying enclosed for longer, people are at less risk from drunk drivers as well. So you see this, again, increase on the safety of the general population.

And there's the point of safety of staff. Because people are less drunk and because they're saying clubs for longer, police have to intervene with less fights. Ambulance officers have to deal with less drunk people. And staff in pubs have to deal with less people who are incredibly drunk and do incredibly stupid things.

So we're seeing increasing security for all these people involved, which we say is an incredibly beneficial thing. We see these lockout laws as a necessary step to protect those who have previously really suffered under the alcohol-fueled violence in this area. And this really links into my second point, which is the health of those in these areas.

So lockout laws have led to a dramatic decrease in the amount of injuries in the CBD area. So St. Vincent Hospital have come out publicly and said, yes, we've had a significant decrease in the amount of injuries, the amount of deaths that have happened between 10:00 PM and 3:00 AM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights when, previously, you had these huge amounts of violence.

And why is this? Because of the lockout laws. Before, we had countless cases of injuries of young people. King hits, rapes, huge fights going on fueled by alcohol, fueled by people being on the streets. And it's important to note

[bell ringing]

--the huge affect this has on people's lives. Not just those who are injured but also those of the families around them. Inhibited people are less aware. And they make bad decisions like crossing train tracks and getting into fights.

And, by introducing these lockout laws, people are less drunk and they're not on the streets and, therefore, they are safer and the general population is safer. And, therefore, you see more people who are healthier and happier. So in conclusion, our lockout laws in Sydney are incredibly effective. They've protected the health of Sydney citizens, and they've increased the safety of the CBD area, which was previously a crime hotspot.

Human life is the most important aspect of this debate. And we believe that lockout laws don't really inhibit the ability of people to have fun while keeping them safe. And this is why we are proud to negate in this debate. Thank you.


NISHKA TAPASWI: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. So our team strongly believes that we should revoke the lockout laws. But before I continue with my substantive, let me just clarify some of our points. First of all, the opposing team seems to suggest that mandatory sentencing is actually not effective and how education is already in place.

First of all, our model states an increased amount of awareness and campaigning, more than there currently is. This means there could be posters in bars. Bartenders could be voicing their concerns. That means that when these young people are out in nightlife or bars, they're going to be constantly told about the consequences of their actions. And this will, hopefully, stop some of the rash decisions they might make.

They also said that when someone is incredibly drunk that they do not think about mandatory sentencing. Yes, we acknowledge that this is true, but they fail to acknowledge that people can get this drunk at any time. By introducing lockout laws, we're simply changing the time in which these people get drunk, as I will elaborate later in my case.

Also, it has not been proven that lockout laws have decreased crime. Even Mike Baird has acknowledged that this could also be due to mandatory sentencing and the increased media hype. Furthermore, they said lockout laws came from public outrage. However, it was mandatory sentencing for those one-punch assaults that actually did come from the media and public outrage. And there actually has been public outrage to these said lockout laws.

Second, about the practicality of the law. Well, they say that now people are just going to move to smaller locations and spread out. Isn't this a bad thing? If we have numerous hot spots with people drinking, getting really drunk, then our law enforcement has to cover the entire area. And also for things like sexual assault and one-punch laws, you only need two people.

One person who is-- one or two people increasingly drunk and maybe another innocent bystander. So, technically, this can happen anywhere. And what lockout laws are doing is just changing this so it happens in many places instead of maybe just the Sydney CBD where law enforcement are already there.

Also, this idea of being able to drink safely at home. They are contradicting themselves. They said once people get drunk, reason goes out the window. Well, how then can you expect them to drink safely at home?

And this idea that they will stay in clubs as long as possible because once they go out, they can't go back in. Well, if alcohol is not being served in these clubs after a certain time, why would they stay? They would go out, they would go to the street, 24-hour Bottlemarts, and then just get drunk there. So these are the issues.

Now onto our case. They base their case on the assumption that people will not get drunk because of lockout laws. This is simply incorrect. Their first point was security of the drinkers, that they will stay off the streets, and then, as a consequence, they will get less drunk.

However, when you push someone onto the streets or don't let them go into a bar, what does this create? This creates anger and frustration. They will just get more drunk. And if they can't get into pubs, then they will stay on the streets.

Also, they said that the consequences of getting drunk, like vandalising property. Well, vandalization of property will happen if you kick these people out of a pub. Not if you keep them in there in a more secure environment where, under our model, we've already increased this public awareness.

Also, the safety to the population. As I've said, lockout laws will simply change the time when people get drunk. Because if they're not allowed to drink after 1:30, they're just going to go earlier. They're going to get drunk before 1:30.

And this is where more people, like general population, are actually out on the streets. So this won't really reduce drunk drivers. It will just change when there are drunk drivers on the road, a time when there are more people, more innocent people on the road. So quite frankly, lockout laws, while maybe good in theory, practically, are not effective.

And then this topic of health and safety. How there's been a decrease in injuries and crime in the CBD area. Yes, in the CBD area because, as we've already established, people have moved to other locations. That means that the number of these injuries and crimes may be the same, it's just more spread out.

Now onto my case. So my first point is that alcohol-fueled violence can happen anywhere, at any time. So even if lockout laws work in theory, do we really believe that the youth and partygoers will stop drinking at a certain time? No.

So there are four main issues with the lockout laws. 1, people will simply change the time at which they party and still get drunk and still pose a risk. And because of this restriction based due to lockout laws, they will be disgruntled and frustrated.

And then, 2, after they have been refused entry from an establishment, they may move to a different hotspot or just stay on the street and get drunk, as our first speaker and I have reiterated many times. 3, it is unrealistic to assume that people at 2:00 AM will just go home, just stop drinking, and just go to bed. Because this is what lockout laws are suggesting.

And then as far as we've established, lockout laws, they don't prevent people from getting drunk. They just change where and when they're getting drunk. So my second point is about disgruntled youth. Lockout laws, by their very nature, implies restrictions and lack of trust. This type of suppression, particularly--

[bell ringing]

--to a drunken youth, will just result in frustration and antagonism. The reactive approach of placing curfews on young Australians, who are just granted their independence and have not had a chance to prove themselves, and their changing attitudes due to mandatory sentencing and the media hype will just lead to a lack of trust in law enforcement. As they believe that these agencies are not working for their benefit and are just trying to spoil their fun.

So this will cause greater rebellion and acting out. And this is evident. There have been numerous protests by youth and bartenders to revoke these lockout laws.

And then, finally, this issue of tourism and business. What lockout laws are essentially doing is destroying the positive and fun-filled atmosphere of Sydney's nightlife. Yes, there have been problems with violence and other issues, but, really, these are being counteracted by mandatory sentencing and increased education and campaigning.

So lockout laws, what they're just doing, is decreasing tourism. And this affects multiple industries. It affects the bars, it affects even restaurants, it affects tourism. Who's going to come to Sydney? Young people will stop coming to Sydney if they don't think they can have a fun, nice time.

Also, this suppression, it might actually encourage infringement of other laws. So imagine a business, a bar, they can't let more people in by 2:00 AM. That means that they're potentially losing clientele.

So what they need to do is keep their customers inside for as long as possible. Because once they leave, they can't come back. And they might think of ways to do this, like, just keep serving alcohol instead. And so while the lockout laws are good in theory, they have numerous loopholes--

[bell ringing]

--that counteract human nature and the will to get drunk and this need for young people to party and enjoy themselves. And so for these reasons, we believe that we should revoke lockout laws. Thank you.


JOSHUA WALLIS: Thank you very much. I'd like to start today by discussing four of the main points that our opposition is trying to address to you. The first was the effectiveness of other methods, which they believe will sufficiently combat the problem, which is alcohol-fueled violence, which results from having these nightclubs open to such late hours.

Basically, what their model proposes to do is exactly the same as the status quo. What they want us to do is to have these legal restrictions which are placed upon people, such as mandatory sentencing, which try and prevent them from committing these acts of violence. But, ultimately, what they're doing is trying to take a half measure to fill a problem, which requires something much more serious.

Mandatory sentencing, as we have said and they have agreed with us, does not impact upon people who are drunk. They're not thinking about that. What drunk people are thinking about is the alcohol and the alcohol, which they can't get. When drunk people cannot reach that alcohol, then you remove them from the location in which they can hurt themselves and in which they can hurt other people.

Therefore, we do not believe that the opposition's questioning of the effectiveness of the strategies which exist despite lockout laws are in any way important at all because they're only half measures. Furthermore, the opposition tried to tell you that the impracticality of the lockout laws is a reason for which we should neglect them. This, however, is another inherent fallacy because we need these lockout laws to protect people's lives.

If we don't protect people's fundamental right to security, then we are not defending any of their basic human rights. Basically, what they've tried to tell you is that people, if they are made to not drink at a particular time, will just find a different time when they can drink alcohol. But this is also incorrect because the culture will not just change overnight.

Just because we introduce lockout laws doesn't mean that people will stop going to nightclubs at 12:00 at night and start drinking in the mid-afternoon. It doesn't just happen like that. They've also tried to tell you that by locking people out of certain locations, they'll just migrate to other areas. And this is true. And as my case will further elaborate on later, our team actually views this as a very positive thing, which will bring economic boom to areas where this industry can now move to.

Furthermore, they try to tell you that the reaction of the youth and the rebellion which will come from these laws is a reason to negate them entirely. Well, firstly, what we would like to say is that if a child is choking on a choking hazard and you remove it from them, they might cry. But that doesn't mean that you don't remove it from them.

These laws are very significant because they save people's lives. And there is no need to neglect to protect people just because they don't want to be protected. Sometimes the hard measure is the measure which we definitely need to take, despite the disgruntled nature of the youth.

Furthermore, they said, and it was a valid point, that the businesses which these laws impact will be directly impacted by these laws. And, yes, our team does in no way disagree with this. But as, once again, my case will later elaborate on, we would like to say that the impact of this change will actually be ultimately for the best. Because whilst tourism and the stakeholders who are invested in these companies and the musicians and the people who attend them at night will have to change their patterns, we ultimately believe that the change in patterns will be for the best.

Because-- well, basically, what we want is we want businesses who defend people's rights. We want people coming to Sydney who are genuinely impassioned by the atmosphere which they're experiencing. They're not there because of the alcohol. They're there because they love to be there.

And we want to attract those sorts of people and those sorts of businesses in this area. And if the opposition is trying to tell you that, no, what we really just want is people to spend as much money as possible and get as drunk as possible because that's what they've traditionally done, and that's what they will always continue to do, we would tell you not to listen to that notion. And that what we really need is a positive environment for Sydney as it moves to define its place in the international light as it becomes a more international city.

So now on to my points. Ultimately, the claim which the opposition has most strongly tried to make to you, which is most effective, especially, economically, is about the effect of this on small businesses. But, ultimately, we believe that this is a really deceptive notion. Because while there will be an effect on the small businesses, these laws will ultimately be for the best for them.

Yes, there will be an impact period. But the negative team firmly believes that the impact will be positive because what it will inspire in the businesses to do. So there'll be 2 main impacts which are undeniably positive.

The first is the diversification of the nightlife industry geographically. And the second is the diversification of the industry so that Sydney can develop this unique, thriving nightlife culture, which is not really found anywhere else in the world. Firstly, geographically.

Because these laws only apply to certain areas in the CBD, they do, as the opposition has tried to, move people out from these traditional areas of violence and assault. What they do do, however, is move people into other areas where they can access other resources which provide the same quality. And if not to an even better extent, where people are more protected because they're not in big, angry, alcohol-fueled mobs.

Booming Metropolitan areas, such as Parramatta, Penrith, the Southern Shire area, and North Sydney could very much use that increased business, which they would receive under these laws as people are pushed out of the traditional areas of nightlife culture and moved to find other areas where they can find similar services but in a safer environment.

Furthermore, we believe that cramming all these people into a very small space is not necessarily the way which people can enjoy themselves the most anyway. Because, ultimately, what people require to have a fun night out is not always just being squished in one hot, tight room with all these other people. But more often the case is doing something which they generally enjoy--

[bell ringing]

--with people who they genuinely enjoy doing them with and not necessarily just being bulldozed by the people around them. Furthermore, we would like to really emphasise the point of the cultural change which these laws do actually imply. Because, economically, Sydney really does need to develop a more distinct industry than what it currently has at the moment.

To become an international powerhouse city, like it wants to do, Sydney is required to step off the general playing field in all these cultural areas and develop its own nightlife culture, which these laws would push it to do. Because we don't want businesses to sit there and accept that the fact that drunk people will come there and not really have a full experience of their hospitality is a reason to not improve their business model. No, in fact, we would argue the opposite. We want businesses to be forced to make themselves better because they know that the consumers who come to those businesses will be people who are actively seeking to have a better experience themselves.

Not people who are actively seeking to get drunk. People who are actively seeking to listen to the music which is being played and genuinely enjoy it, not because they're drunk, but because it's good music. We believe, ultimately, that these lockout laws will force Sydney and businesses in Sydney to come up with measures which attract people in this way, ultimately, only as a good economic thing for Sydney even on an international scale.

Furthermore, on a very obvious and fundamental level, these lockout laws have a hugely positive economic impact on taxpayers' money. Not only do they keep victims of alcohol-fueled violence out of hospital beds, not only do they decrease the number of police that we have to have patrolling the streets every night, not only do they decrease the amount of reparations that we have to pay when alcohol damages people's property or the amount of payouts that employers have to give to their employees when their employees are assaulted by a drunk person--

[bell ringing]

--in an alcohol-fueled rage. We believe that, ultimately, all this money could be used to do what the opposition is trying to tell you. This money that we save can go to campaigns which tell people not to get drunk. This money can go to educational programmes. It can go to supporting other mechanisms, which are ultimately much, much more effective than the opposition is trying to tell you that taking the half measures, which we already had in place before the positive benefit, which we're currently seeing, came to fruition isn't an effective measure in any sense whatsoever. Thank you very much.


LILY HENKE: Today, the affirmative team has established that we should revoke the lockout laws. Because while in theory lockout laws will successfully decrease the amount of violence and alcoholism within Kings Cross, the opposition fails to acknowledge that this is based upon the assumption that people will stop getting drunk and have failed to acknowledge that this will create a cycle in which the violence and alcoholism simply moves somewhere else.

Today, our team has argued that while, yes, we have agreed there are issues in the status quo. Lockout laws, ultimately, do more harm than good and do not keep the majority safe as they were intended to do. I would like to, today, summarise this debate into three main issues. Now the first is that matter of principle.

Do lockout laws keep people safe? And can we credit a decrease in violence to lockout laws? Secondly, the idea of spreading people out, does this have a positive or negative impact? This then links to my third point, which is the economic argument. Will moving people to new areas be positive in an economic manner?

The second speaker came out and spoke to us about the idea of changing the culture. So we've got fun, loving people who enjoy music, as opposed to drinking, going into our nightlife areas. Now, perhaps, the opposition hasn't met our 18 to 24-year-old population within Sydney, but I just don't think that is realistic. Drinking is a social culture, one which all 18 to 24-year-olds, who are finally given the opportunity for independence and freedom, want to take advantage of.

Now for the first idea. A matter of principle. Do lockout laws have a positive effect on society? And we've seen from the opposition the idea that it successfully keeps people's lives safe.

Now, today, we have four main rebuttals to this point. Now the first one is the idea that alcohol-fueled violence, as the other team is focused on, doesn't wait until 3:00 AM. The entire idea is that people drink alcohol to lose their inhibition and also rationality. Meaning, that these incidences can occur at any time and not just within a venue but, as we saw in the case of Thomas Kelly and Loveridge, on the street.

Meaning, that confining people into an area and locking others from coming into an area leaves us with a larger proportion of people still out on the street who can still have one-punch assaults, like happened to Thomas Kelly, regardless of lockout laws. Thirdly, we did have the idea of shifting locations, which I will get to further. But, ultimately, this won't have positive impacts.

And lastly, the idea of a slippery slope. Now our team, as was suggested by Nishka, in second speaker, and Alisha, in first, who suggested that the reason this law exist is for the safety of the majority. But these laws do not guarantee that. Ultimately, while the opposition has suggested that we can't change values and convince people to start drinking in daytime drinking.

People, because they are forced to because they understand that their possibility of going out, having a social time with their friends will be impeded on, and because the appeal of going out with friends is the idea of having freedom drinking with your friends, they will start to drink earlier and earlier at a time when is more dangerous to the general public. Of course, we do need some safeguards in place, such as existing police, bartender distraction, and campaigns. Lockout laws will infringe civil liberties with no specific benefit.

Now the next idea was whether or not lockout laws are proven to decrease alcohol-fueled violence and the idea of spreading out the people. Will this have a positive or a negative impact? Now, today, our team would like to propose that it's not necessarily a matter of spreading lots of people out into different areas but towards creating a new hotspot and new place for people to go.

Majority. Yes, there will be some pub people in different areas, which will ultimately make it harder for law enforcement. But it's most about creating new hotspots. Shifting the problem that we now see in Kings Cross to somewhere else. Continuing this cycle and, ultimately, meaning what just going to, under the opposition's model, have to put lockout laws in every area of Sydney, which is implausible.

But I have three main rebuttals to this point. So the first idea is that, even if, under the opposition's idea, yes, OK, people are spread out to lots of different areas of Sydney, OK. This is only going to make it harder for existing law enforcement to be able to go to all those areas, to be able to patrol them and to be able to keep those areas safe.

Because even if we do have lockout laws that are keeping some people confined in a small space, that is not everyone. There are still people out on the streets who do need to be patrolled. Secondly, the idea of not having so many people in one spot, which the opposition has suggested. You only need two people for a one-punch attack.

As we saw in this Thomas Kelly versus Loveridge case, they're not always a matter of large brawls, lots of people together getting broody. In fact, I'm fairly certain, in the Kelly versus Loveridge case, it was a matter of walking past and being spontaneously punched in the head, A, on the street and, B, with only two people.

Thirdly, the idea of people moving to drinking safely at home, which we've heard from the opposition, is unrealistic given the social nature of drinking. It's also a large contradiction in that the opposition suggests that people will be staying indoors inside the establishment. But be that as it may--

[bell ringing]

--the opposition suggests that lockout laws will not inhibit people's ability to have fun. However, that is simply not the case. Lockout laws, which are a reactive approach, placing curfews on young Australians, who've just been gifted with independence and not giving them the opportunity to demonstrate a change in cultural values since media outcry following one-punch attacks, leads to these young people having a lack of trust in our law enforcement.

It's just not a matter of the baby not liking it. They don't trust our law enforcement. They don't trust that these laws will be leaving people safe, which leads to a large population of disgruntled youth, who are more likely to act out against law enforcement.

The opposition used the example of St. Vincent Hospital and, thus, they're having less examples of coming into the hospital from alcohol-fueled violence. However, perhaps this is because, I don't know, lockout laws are forcing other places to become a new hotspot. Are shifting those people in other areas.

Therefore, St. Vincent's hospitals, which is where people from Kings Cross go, won't be going there. Because, as has been agreed upon by the opposition, the violence and the alcoholism is moving. So we don't just see this as plausible evidence.

The opposition then brought up the idea of economic growth. We find this to be in many ways a large contradiction. So people are spreading out to different places due to lockout laws, places that don't have lockout laws. This means that there is a decrease in violence noticed, currently.

They will become new hotspots, which suggests that it is not due to the lockout laws, as I've just stated with my St. Vincent's argument. Therefore, lockout laws can't be proven as being an effective measure to cancel out alcohol-fueled violence, given that the areas which they are basing their evidence on is the areas in which people have shifted from.

[bell ringing]

In terms of diversification geographically, how is having alcohol and nightlife in other areas going to benefit the general population? Ultimately, the violence will shift to those areas. It will create a continuous cycle of alcoholism and violence. And it just isn't plausible.

There is a reason that Kings Cross is dead due to lockout laws. The businesses have suffered due to lockout laws. If this then shifts or spreads, as the opposition prefers, to a different area, this area will just the same, their businesses and their economics, be affected in the same way Kings Cross has been.

It's simply a continuous cycle. And we cannot simply try to change it by shifting it to somewhere else. It is not plausible. Ultimately, the opposition has suggested an idealistic idea, which doesn't work in practise. Our team has established that we should revert lockout laws. We cannot just--

[bell ringing]

--allow the cycle to continue by moving it somewhere else.


DYLAN STEVENS: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm surprised to see you're all sober as, despite what the opposition says, people don't actually drink during any other times than on these weekend nights. Now both teams, of course, acknowledged that there is a serious problem that is going on in Sydney at night and with these coward punch attacks. But the difference between the opposition's case and the case of the negative team is that the opposition has not given us a solution.

They've given us an almost ostrich-like approach. To do more of the same and do it even samer to hopefully, maybe something will work. Under these main things like mandatory sentencing, which is a compulsory component of any legal system in the world, as well as advertising campaigns, of which Australia has one of the most adept in the world against alcohol abuse, and greater police involvement, which is already incredibly strong in these areas, we have seen no shift in the level of violent attacks.

When 2013's lockout laws came in, there was an immediate drop. Now the opposition has come out and they've told you that the CBD of Sydney, it's dead. There is no one there. In fact, if you probably went there on a Friday night, you would only see people at liquor stores waiting for people to come in.

However, aside from being completely ludicrously incorrect, we're moving towards a culture of a greater and more safe way to enjoy alcohol. The opposition says that there is going to be this endless cycle that will spread out across Sydney. But we understand that the law may need some revising, but this is the first step.

And we've seen it work. The opposition hasn't given us anything. And I will expand on that later as I discuss the issues of today's debate.

No matter what they say, the negative team's case is safer and better for the people of Sydney. So I have put today's debate into two main ideas. The first one being, which method is greater to deal with the alcohol problem of Sydney? And the second, are lockout laws practical?

Now I'll start with the first idea. The opposition has stated that lockout laws are only work in theory. But the evidence, and the continuous and proven and statistical evidence, proves that they not only work in theory, but they work in practise as well. The opposition has stated that placing the lockout laws in a CBD area will make it harder for law enforcement as people move out into different suburbs.

Aside from their existing local police chapters who will deal with this issue and as well as being fewer people in different areas, as the nature of people is too spread out, this is not only good for security, but there are also alcohol-free zones in place in these areas. People are not moving onto the street because they are so desperate to get a fix of alcohol. People go to bars and clubs, not just to get drunk, but because they want to speak to their friends.

And they want to go to nightclubs because they want to dance. People don't loiter on the street 9:00 o'clock in the morning with a bottle of vodka in their hand just because they really want to get drunk at that time. That's just something that's unfeasible, it's incorrect. It's null.

It's an idea that is completely backwards. And it's a way to categorise what the lockout laws actually do. And that is that they have been proven to lower these issues. And much like anything that the opposition has given us today, which is nothing, despite conceding that these issues still prevail.

The opposition has told us and enlightened us into the way that drinking will always exist as part of Australian teen culture. And you're completely right. And we're going to help this culture exist.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, neither is it a good thing. But it needs to change. It needs to change quickly. And the lockout laws will help deliver that instantly and effectively as we have seen.

Despite what-- I think the opposition describe them as rambunctious youth or aggressive youth may say, that just like my second speaker said, this is a necessary step. Bars and clubs may close and people will get upset because of this. But at the end of the day, people will be safer.

Everyone in Sydney deserves to walk around, no matter their age, no matter where they are, no matter the time, and be safe from alcohol-fueled violence. And with the lockout laws, this has proven effective. And it's better than anything else the opposition has given us today.

Part of our drinking culture also helps contradict the opposition's model. This is why education, that they want to promote for some reason, isn't going to work. We already have a fantastic anti-alcohol abuse advertising campaign in Australia. And it has worked to some degree, but the culture still remains.

I don't know how possibly the opposition bringing in this new education is going to change anything. It's going to do more of the same and the same is ineffective. The lockout laws help change that. And they change it instantly.

The opposition has also said that lockout laws ultimately do more harm than good due to this spreading out of areas and these people on the streets, but the proof is in the pudding. The evidence states that the violence is no longer occurring on the streets anymore. They have criticised the hospital model we put forward, but they haven't given us any evidence to prove that this is otherwise happening anywhere else. The idea of the lockdown laws is they will expand across the state.

This is just a test trial. And we've seen how effective it is. The next step is just to take it even further, to make these necessary changes, to make New South Wales safer.

The opposition states that once people have their last drinks at 1:00 AM, they wouldn't want to stay in the club. They just merely move out in the street, go to the 7-Eleven-- well, they don't sell after 12-- Liquorland, or whatever, and they'd grab a bottle of wine and they continue drinking. However, doors close at 11:00 PM, that keeps people in clubs. And once people stop going into clubs, they kind of are just wandering around drunkenly.

The opposition has acknowledged that people want to free their inhibitions while they're drunk, but what's the point of getting drunk if all you are doing is standing around? That's a fallacy. People don't drink to just stand around on the street at night. And to even--

[bell ringing]

--posit that this is in any way a reality is completely ludicrous. The opposition's also stated that-- now they put forward this thing about mandatory sentencing. And as I said before, it's a compulsory part of any legal system in the world. It's not something that only occurs about these one-punches.

And the fact is that no matter how much education the opposition has shown the people of Australia, no matter how much they're aware of mandatory sentencing, no matter how many police are around, when someone's drunk, they're not acting like themselves. And that's why we need to start stopping people from getting more access to alcohol. They need to start acting in a safer and more appropriate manner.

We're not trying to get rid of this culture at all. We're just trying to make it safer for everyone in Sydney, no matter where they are. And now I will move on to the second idea, how practical are lockout laws.

The opposition has stated that the CBD is essentially dead, that Kings Cross is a husk of what it formerly was, which was a crime-ridden area. But this continues to be incorrect. People still drink in the CBD. In fact, many, many, many bars and clubs and the CBD remain open regardless to this.

The reason why is because people know that the lockout laws need to create a change in things. They need to adapt the way that they consume alcohol. And bars need to adapt the way they serve alcohol to make people safer.

I don't know what the opposition is trying to present us here today. But to me, it seems to be something that does not care about the safety and the lives of Australians. They've talked about people moving onto the streets. But the thing is that the evidence is showing that this will make it safer.

As a part of a herd mentality, the CBD is an incredibly small area. If we have people going to other parts of the city, the same number of people on each part of it will have less people, and less aggression and violence. This is just the facts of the nature. And the opposition is painting this picture of lockout laws as this kind of gargantuan beast swallowing all of Sydney and sucking the life out of everything, and that's just not true.

[bell ringing]

Sydney will adapt. Australia has an incredible propensity for drinking culture, as we all know. And people will adapt to what the lockout laws do.

My second speaker talked about how the new nightclubs will form from the lockout laws, and people will be going out not just to drink but to have fun. Because we shouldn't be focusing on going out as just drinking. It should be about having fun as well and being safer.

Now the opposition has also stated that we, the negative team, do not trust the law enforcement of Sydney and we do not trust the youth of Australia. But aside from this, lockout laws aren't put in place and there is no police and there is no education and there's no mandatory sentencing, that's not true. These, in fact, things only combine together to work towards a greater issue. We just believe that lockout laws are the final step necessary to make Sydney a safer place. What the opposition has given us today is not a solution for the fact that they have acknowledged the problem.

[bell ringing]

And that is why I'm proud to negate. Thank you.


BRENDAN MA: Hi, everyone. Just, firstly, I want to congratulate both teams in this final for such an excellent debate. All of the panel thought that every speaker was quite exceptional. That the reasons we have heard on such a contentious and topical issue were well thought out, they were well reasoned. And I think that deserves another round of applause.


So how this adjudication will work is that I'll give the reasonings for the adjudication before announcing the result. The adjudication, today, was a split decision of the panel. So it was a very close decision which represented how great we thought the calibre of both teams was, in particular, today.

There was, firstly, this idea about what question would have been important in this debate. So we thought that both teams agreed from the outset that the most important question that needed to be decided in this debate was whether safety was improved. Or, in particular, in order to revoke the lockout laws, there needed to be proof that the lockout laws, themselves, created more harm or more violence in Sydney or in the wider community.

So that meant that the burden on the affirmative was to prove that that indeed happened. That there would be more violence caused because of the lockout laws. The burden on the negative would be to prove that there was not this increase in violence. And that if they proved that the lockout laws had steadied it or reduced that violence, that would have been enough to win the debate.

So two main questions. The first question was a little bit more about the practicalities, the economics of such a decision, and some of the periphery effects of the lockout laws. So we heard quite persuasive material from the negative about the economic costs, in particular to the businesses, that were affected by the lockout laws. And what that meant for some of those individuals. And how we'd have a diversification of some of the businesses and some of the nightlife in our cities.

We heard a response from the affirmative about how that diversification might not have been actually created because of the lockout laws. But, in the end, we thought that it was persuasive enough for the negative to tell us that there would be that positive outflow from that lockout laws for those businesses. We also-- a negative outflow.

We also heard that there were negative impacts, in particular, for some of the businesses that were affected by these lockout laws. We thought the response from the negative was enough to say that those negative costs would have been meted out by any increases in safety if that was proven. So coming to the more important issue in this debate about whether the lockout laws actually increase safety or whether they would have increased violence.

So what we heard from the affirmative was that, ultimately, what the lockout laws did was reduce or make the time of drinking earlier. That we would have people that would get drunk at an earlier time. This was, particularly, harmful because that meant that they were out on the streets at an earlier time where more of the public would also be out on the streets.

We heard very persuasive material from the negative saying that it would be unlikely these people would be out early on the streets. In particular, they also told us that, even if they were locked out of these areas, they would be dispersed to a wider range of different places outside of Sydney. And that when you have less people congregated together, you would have less brawls and less violence as a result of those lockout laws.

The response we heard from the affirmative was that, even though you had people dispersing in those areas, ultimately, you might have more people forming their own little hotspots in some areas. That, combined with the fact that you only needed a few people to commit violent acts, particularly, when they were drunk and intoxicated. And something that both teams accepted was a factor that would have reduced your ability to think through consequences like mandatory sentencing. That when you had all of those factors combined, the lockout laws might have pushed you into different places of the city where violence would increase.

We also heard from the affirmative that when you had people drinking a lot earlier, there would be a higher degree of risk when it came to the public. And some of the factors that we heard on the negative side about road users, about general members of the public that would have been affected, were also fulfilled on the affirmative argument. We also heard that when you had individuals that were locked out of those particular areas, what that meant from the negative point of view, would be that they would be likely going home, and that would be the end of that night.

The response we heard from the affirmative, that we thought was nuanced, was saying that when you had individuals, particularly 18 to 24-year-olds that were the target of these lockout laws, the particular type of culture we were talking about were young people that wanted to have a night out. That it would be unlikely for the majority of them to end that night once they were locked out. And that would lead towards moving on to different places where more violence could have ensued.

Ultimately, the majority of the panel were persuaded in the idea that when you had lockout laws that were pushing people out of venues onto the streets that were making people adapt their sort of drinking so that they would be getting drunk earlier in coincidence with a lot more of the general public. We were convinced that the lockout laws themselves created more violence compared to less violence in the wider Sydney area. As a result of that, we have awarded the grand final to the affirmative team.


MICHAEL BREWER: [inaudible]


MICHAEL BREWER: I'd like to thank everyone for coming along today to witness our debate. All the school students that have come along, our esteemed guests, all the parents, and everyone, and all the teachers for organising this, and to the University for hosting us today. Obviously, congratulations, you are the state champions, and well done.


HARRY LY: A member of the winning team will now respond.

MARY BAIO: Thank you very much Caringbah High School. It was a very intense debate. And you could feel the passion--


--the whole time. And it's an experience we won't forget. Also, thank you to Western Sydney University for hosting this debate. Great experience.


BRENDAN MA: So Charlotte.

ROSEMARY DAVIS: Well done, Charlotte.




ROSEMARY DAVIS: Joshua, well done.

JOSHUA WALLIS: Thank you very much.


ROSEMARY DAVIS: Congratulations, Dylan.


BRENDAN MA: Michael.

MICHAEL BREWER: Thank you very much.

ROSEMARY DAVIS: There you go.

BRENDAN MA: And your teacher [? who ?] helped you on the case.



TEACHER: Thank you.

ROSEMARY DAVIS: Thanks for your preparation.



ROSEMARY DAVIS: Brilliant. Well done, Alisha.

ALISHA MATHIAS: Thank you very much.



ROSEMARY DAVIS: Well done, Nishka.

NISHKA TAPASWI: Thank you very much.



ROSEMARY DAVIS: Well done, Lily.

LILY HENKE: Thank you.



ROSEMARY DAVIS: Mary, well done.

LILY HENKE: Thank you.

BRENDAN MA: Oh, there's a bit of a contingent here.

SPEAKER: I don't know.

BRENDAN MA: It looks like [inaudible] [? phillips ?] is going to get the gold medal for coach.


ROSEMARY DAVIS: Well done. Thank you.

COACH: Thank you so much. Thank you.

ROSEMARY DAVIS: There we go. Well done, Mary. I'll give it to you there.

MARY BAIO: Thank you.


End of transcript