Do we need alcohol-trade restrictions in Parramatta?

Parramatta doesn't need the same trading restrictions as Sydney's CBD to combat drug and alcohol violence, says Parramatta MP Geoff Lee.

The NSW Police Association this week called for the state government to consider extending lockouts and alcohol curfews to other nightspots including Parramatta.

Mr Lee said all options to combat violence should be left on the table but Parramatta wasn't comparable to Kings Cross.

"If we have to do it we have to do but the nature of Kings Cross and Parramatta are very different. Kings Cross attracts 20,000 to 30,000 people. We don't have that here," he said.

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The new laws mean pubs and clubs in Sydney's CBD, including Kings Cross, Darlinghurst and The Rocks, can't serve alcohol after 3am or allow new customers in after 1.30am.

But Mr Lee said he would rather see a voluntary liquor accord implemented by venues in Parramatta.

There were 141 incidents of alcohol-related assault (non-domestic) in the Parramatta suburb in the year to September 2013, according to data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

In the same time period, there were 111 incidents of alcohol-related disorderly conduct, including 32 in licensed premises and 54 on road, street and footpaths.

Trends in these incidents over two years have remained stable.

Parramatta lord mayor John Chedid has backed the new restrictions. The Sun was unable to contact him to confirm if he supported their introduction in Parramatta.

"I think they are great measures and, if we can prevent some of the incidents that have occurred in recent [times], we will be doing our society a lot of good," Mr Chedid said last week.

"People should be able to have a good time up to 1 o'clock in the morning . . . I don't see the need for people to continue to consume more alcohol after that."

While many venue owners in Sydney CBD have criticised the laws, the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce has tentatively supported their introduction in Parramatta.

"We feel that the new laws, albeit rushed, are better than nothing, and if applicable to Parramatta would have benefits overall from a socio-economic perspective," president Roger Byrne said.

Parramatta's new police Superintendent Wayne Cox did not return the Sun's phone calls.

This story Do we need alcohol-trade restrictions in Parramatta? first appeared on Parramatta Sun.


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