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Lock-out law architect Mike Baird steps down

'Casino Mike' is to retire from politics to spend more time with his family, raising hopes Sydney's lock-out laws could be further relaxed

By IQ on 19 Jan 2017

Mike Baird, Kate Ausburn

image © Kate Ausburn

Mike Baird, who as premier of New South Wales (NSW) was responsible for the introduction of Sydney’s disastrous lock-out laws, has announced his retirement.

In a statement released this morning, Baird (pictured) – nicknamed ‘Casino Mike’ by critics, in reference to his exempting Star Casino from the controversial curfew – said his six years in office have been characterised by a “rejuvenated [state] economy”, the creation of jobs “in unprecedented numbers” and an “infrastructure boom in Sydney and the regions, which everyone can see with their own eyes”.

Campaign group Keep Sydney Open, however – which last month slammed Baird for his “paltry” 30-minute extension of the curfews – says the premier’s chief legacy will be a Sydney with its “international reputation tarnished, and its vibrancy, energy and positivity diminished. Inner-city small businesses have been devastated, and crashing gate receipts for music and performance in the state of NSW threaten the future of the cultural life of the state.”

“Sydney is ready to be revitalised with smart solutions to guarantee fun, culture, economic opportunity and safety for all of us. We are ready to work with the new leader of the government to achieve this”

It continues: “Now the NSW government has an exciting opportunity before it. Sydney is ready to be revitalised with smart solutions to guarantee fun, culture, economic opportunity and safety for all of us. We are ready to work with the new leader of the government to achieve this.

“Keep Sydney Open’s role in NSW will not be ending with the political career of Mike Baird. Far from it. While the lock-outs still prevail and Sydney’s confidence [is] at an all-time low, we will fight for vibrancy, colour and the small businesses in our community against any lawmakers who unfairly target them.”

The lock-out laws, which critics claim has crippled Sydney’s night-time economy with a 1.30am (later 2am) curfew, were passed following the deaths of Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie, two 18-year-olds who became the victims of what have become known as ‘one-punch’ assaults.

 


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