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After recently relocating to Sydney for work, Brisbane bloke Tom Coffey (26) doesn’t realise how uncomfortable the heavily legislated Southerners feel when exposed to his genuinely emotive personality.
In a city that feels like it is completely acceptable to tell pubs and bars what types of drinks they can serve, with what mixers, between what hours, in what suburbs – Tom is oblivious to the fact that laughing and yahooing can easily be mistaken for severe intoxication in the city that fun forgot.
“I had a mate come down to visit me so we went out for a few beers” said Tom.
“He cracked this hilarious joke about something that had happened in his life, and I just couldn’t stop laughing. It was quite a belly laugh”
“All of a sudden we noticed the whole atmosphere change. The bartender went white in the face. The manager blackened the windows with curtains and carefully walked to the front door to see if anyone was around”
As Tom and his mate Dom quickly found out, their vibrant mood was enough to have every hospitality worker within 50 metres of them put out of work.
“It felt like we were in 1940s France. They were terrified that the police might have heard me laughing”
As outlined in the NSW Liquor Act, the service of alcohol to a disorderly or intoxicated person can result in a $60,000+ fine for a venue and a $10,000 dollar fine for the individual. These laws appear quite overboard considering most people’s entire idea of a pub or bar is a place that you go to to get pissed.
“We weren’t even that pissed” said Tom.
“But that was the plan… I mean, what is the fundamental point of a pub or bar anyway? I think everyone needs to ask themselves that, if you don’t want people to get intoxicated, ban alcohol”
“But yeah… We realised that this city is so moderated that you’ll get accused of this shit before it even happens. It’s like minority report”
Aside from alcohol, the NSW Government’s controversial ‘Hillsong Sharia’ (lock-out laws) also aims to ban ‘projectable audio’ – a form of entertainment that is well known for waking up Baby Boomers that decided to retire in the inner city.
Just this week Sydney declared imminent changes to how much outdoor noise can be made at the international tourism and entertainment landmark, the Sydney Opera House, after the iconic venue was ordered to pay a $15,000 fine for exceeding noise limits during a forecourt concert by Florence and the Machine.
MORE TO COME.