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Her Say: Should Canberra have lock-out laws?

Amanda Smith

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know about Sydney’s CBD lock out laws and the ensuing backlash.

Many Canberrans have been vocal recently about policies proposed by the Building on Liquor Reform: White Paper released by Attorney-General Simon Corbell that will be introduced as legislation on August 2 and how the policies might affect Canberrans.

Those pro-White Paper are concerned that Canberra’s tragic one-punch incidents and other acts of alcohol fuelled violence are a sign that Canberra’s nightlife is out of hand and in need of reform.

Those against the White Paper argue that the reforms are merely lock out laws in disguise that will stifle Canberra’s already limping nightlife.

We took to the streets to boil the argument down to this: Should Canberra have lock out laws similar to those in the Sydney?

Stacey, Bonython

HerSay2 canberra lock-out laws

“I don’t know…I don’t think it’s the safest option for people, for females being left outside without their friends. I’ve been locked out before in New Zealand and I didn’t have any of my friends with me, it was terrifying.”

Ode, Evatt


“There should be lock out laws or there should be a law to stop clubs serving alcohol after a certain hour. They keep serving when people are obviously drunk because if they stop, the boss will ask why they’ve stopped. It’s just business to them.”



“I think there’s lot of the issues with these kinds of laws in that they’re made by people who have forgotten what it’s like to be young as younger people are dramatically underrepresented in government. Bad things can happen when you go out, but that’s life and you can’t cotton wool every situation in order to avoid negative variables. Policing every little thing ruins the culture for that generation.”

Om, Barton


“Why should there be lockouts! Let the younger generation enjoy themselves like we did!”

Tim, Evatt


“I do think they need to bring in lock out laws. I think it would help because there are too many people getting hurt through alcohol-fuelled violence. It’s not just the victims that suffer either; it’s the families that have to go through it too.”

Dayne, Gordon


“Definitely not! What I have to add about it, you probably don’t want published.”

If you’d like to have your say about how the Building on Liquor Reform: White Paper will affect Canberra, The Keep Canberra Open Rally will meet at Garema Place, Canberra on Saturday 30 July at 12pm and march along Alinga Street, to Northbourne Avenue and London Circuit; finishing at the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly where they will present a signed petition against the White Paper. 


Amanda Smith

Amanda is a lunch enthusiast and Canberra local with a love of all things curious. With a background in photography and current studies in journalism, she hopes to produce work on the human condition and what makes us so intricate. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her eccentric family and buying bread, dip and olives from the Old Bus Depot Markets for lunch on a Sunday. More about the Author