Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Another letters exchange in the Herald
Local resident Sue Hanley and I have again crossed swords in the letters pages over the issue of alcohol restrictions in Kings Cross (after the letters people got me to validate my facts). The reader can judge the exchange to see exactly who is "out of step":
Sue's letter yesterday:
Curbs on drinkers overdue
A move that prevents Kings Cross pubs and and making any changes to their buildings that would bring in more drinkers (''Clampdown on pubs and clubs increasing hours or capacity'', September 5-6) is well overdue. This once vibrant hub of inner city living is struggling to retrieve its sophistication and cultural identity following the predations of nightclub entrepreneurs who claimed Kings Cross as their own. Adrian Bartels, of the Potts Point and Kings Cross District Partnership, in advocating on behalf of the liquor industry, is out of step with the local community which desperately wants an end to the liquor-fuelled chaos it endures every weekend.
Sue Hanley Darlinghurst
My letter in the SMH today:
Sue Hanley (Letters, September 7), says Kings Cross residents want more curbs on pubs. That would be why in a recent City of Sydney survey only 16 per cent of locals wanted fewer pubs and clubs. But neither the council nor Ms Hanley seems likely to let a few facts get in the way of a good moral panic.
Michael Gormly Woolloomooloo
What bemuses me is that Ms Hanley's letters say the same thing over and over, ignoring that the debate has moved on, her points refuted. At least this time she didn't sign herself as a member of the City East Precinct Committee, a self-appointed position on a body that that has no members, has never actually done anything or had a meeting for years, and whose only other member I can recall was prolific letter-writer and fellow temperance activist Andrew Woodhouse. On the other hand Adrian Bartels is the very active president of a business association with over 100 paid-up members. His organisation, along with the Kings Cross Liquor Accord, has offered to pay for extra policing on the big weekend party nights, a measure we know works but is being ignored by the nanny state.
The government's new clampdowns will do nothing except to redirect the mayhem a little, possibly away from the well-managed party precincts. The hypocrisy is glaring as the issue is not about violence in the first place -- it's about old people losing their sense of fun but refusing to move out of the noisy fun districts.
The self-contradiction in Ms Hanley's letter is equally glaring -- she is saying the area was "once-vibrant" but complains it is now too busy. A quick reading of Kings Cross history shows that Ms Hanley's memory of a vibrant bohemian wonderland is mere rose-coloured nostalgia. It has been Sydney's party district, warts and all, for many decades.