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Local billionaire property developer, Lang Meriton, says that the idea of Australian nightlife districts being forced to close their venues five hours earlier than any other international cities around the world is not even a remote concern for him and his family.
“It’s not even a remote concern for me and my family” says the portly 67-year-old, who met with us just after finishing a long lunch with the NSW premier.
“If international guests don’t like it, they can piss off to New York or Barcelona… Australian culture has never been about staying up all night drinking, it’s about rich people buying two-bedroom apartments in CBD locations,” he says
“The foreign investors don’t buy into all of that nightclub stuff anyway, and they are the ones who want inner city units,”
As a vocal supporter of the nation’s lock out laws (also known as ‘Hillsong Sharia’) which have bled Sydney’s hospitality industry dry, Mr Meriton says maybe young people should find other ways to spend their time.
“Why don’t they go to the beach or something, I have a shopping centre just up the hill from Bondi beach that these people can park in for free, for the first half hour,”
“These new progressive church concerts are great fun too. My children spend hours out at Baulkham hills clapping and singing with the Baird and Scipione children. It’s good, clean fun,”
“Or maybe than can go skiing in Thredbo, like I did when I was a boy. It’s safer than going out with your close friends to meet people in nightclubs.
“Especially when everyone knows that you can get killed outside those nightclubs. Luckily the Premier is shutting down the sale of Kebabs after midnight so people don’t loiter on the streets,”
Mr Meriton also says that although he did sell the properties he had built surrounding Kings Cross for a much higher fee after the lock out laws were introduced, his main concern from the start was the safety of 1 in 10,000 people who used to frequent the area.
“Look, two people were killed by being punched in Kings Cross and another person in Brisbane. These lock-out laws make sense,” says the man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of his own workers who were forced to build with asbestos fibro during the mid-eighties.
“I have lots of properties in Fortitude Valley as well as the Melbourne CBD, I’d like to see those areas quietened down a lot as well. I think buyers would like that too,”
“It’s not worth it. Just stay at home and turn on the TV. If you want to stay up drinking all night, you need to find a job that pays you well enough to be considered a VIP in the Sydney casino,
“That’s where I go.”