The politician behind Sydney's controversial lockout laws has resigned from parliament

Barry O’Farrell has announced he will not recontest his seat at next year’s state election.

Former New South Wales Premier O’Farrell looks set to exit politics after almost two decades. The controversial politician was forced to resign from his position as State Premier earlier this year after being caught lying in a corruption inquiry. O’Farrell infamously had a “memory fail” when denying the receipt of a $3000 bottle of prized Grange wine from an Australian water company. The politician yesterday confirmed rumours that he will not recontest his seat of Ku-ring-gai at next year’s state election.

O’Farrell spearheaded the implementation of the archaic Sydney lockout laws, which came into effect in February of this year. The restrictions ban patrons from entering any venues within the lockout zone (which encompasses almost the entirety of central Sydney’s nightclub hotspots with the exception of a large casino and the site of another one currently being built) after 1:30am and prohibits the sale of alcohol in venues after 3:00am, meaning most clubs can’t afford to keep their doors open after this time. There has also been a state-wide ban on bottle shops (AKA off licenses or liquor stores) remaining open after 10:00pm.

The laws have had extremely damaging effects on Sydney’s night-time economy and its nightclub scene with a number of venues both large and small forced into closure. Earlier this year, after longstanding Sydney nightspot The Backroom closed its doors citing a loss of revenue as a result of the new restrictions, O’Farrell infamously tweeted that he wouldn’t shed a tear over the loss to Sydney’s nightclub community.

Time to start popping bottles. [via Sydney Morning Herald]



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