Premier Mike Baird says he has spoken to the families of the victims of alcohol violence in the Sydney CBD and was moved by their stories.
Premier Mike Baird says he has spoken to the families of the victims of alcohol violence in the Sydney CBD and was moved by their stories. APRIL FONTI/AAP

NSW PARLIAMENT LIVE: Baird open to lock-out law debate

UPDATE: Premier Mike Baird says he is open to debate over Sydney's controversial lock-out laws but "it will take a lot" to change his mind.

Questioned about the "last drinks" legislation's negative effects on businesses in the CBD, Mr Baird waxed lyrical about what prompted the laws' introduction.

"It will take a lot to change my mind on this," he said.

"But that doesn't mean I'm not open to what the review finds, and that's why we have established it.

"I've had the privilege, in many ways, of meeting with some of the victims' families.

"If we're honest, none of us can imagine what that would be like.

"You have to be in their shoes and we can't, but you can see their pain."

Let’s start with a statistic about Sydney’s nightlife that matters: alcohol related assaults have decreased by 42.2 per...

Posted by Mike Baird on Monday, February 8, 2016


Mr Baird alluded to the bombardment of negative feedback he received on Facebook after posting about the laws' "success" in bringing down violence.

"If you have views and positions, people have every right to respond," he said.

"My hope is that they're not as abusive as some of those on a regular basis, but that's part of it.

"Everyone's got ownership of this great person.

"Every single person who counts themselves lucky enough to live in what I think is the greatest city in the world, we all have a say."

Former High Court Justice Ian Callinan will oversee an upcoming review of the laws and their effects on both violence and business.

Oh, and here's a little video about the strange relationship between the lock-out laws and Sydney's two casinos... one of which is yet to be built.


STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES

2.30pm Labor warned of action over ICAC leaks:

Premier Mike Baird has called the Opposition Leader a "smear merchant" and warned Labor could face legal action over ICAC leaks.

Mr Baird has stood up for former Attorney General Brad Hazzard after repeated questioning over whether he interfered with ICAC's investigation into Margaret Cunneen.

"I have to say, that if the Leader of the Opposition wants to be known as the number one smear merchant in this state, well then he is living up to that," Mr Baird said.

"If you want to go down the smear path, as a  leader... he needs to be very sure on the ground (where) he is standing."

Mr Baird quoted Section 74 of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act, which states no evidence, unless at the request of a witness, can be disclosed or published without the committee's permission.

So I'd say to the Opposition, do you really know what you are doing?

 

The maximum penalty is $2200 or three months' imprisonment, or both.

"Now there are very serious penalties to that," Mr Baird said.

"So I'd say to the Opposition, do you really know what you are doing?"

Mr Hazzard was confident his actions were all above board.

"I will also add that as a lawyer now of coming up to 40 years next year, I understand very well what the rule of law is about," he said.

"And I understand my role in protecting that.

"I understand that everything I did absolutely complied, and it will comply."

Hazzard did not answer if he would hand over his phone records and diary notes of his contact with the witness to the car crash that led to the Margaret Cunneen ICAC investigation.

1.45pm: Foley called immature, told to grow up

THINGS are getting personal as former Attorney General Brad Hazzard faces renewed grilling over his involvement in an ICAC investigation into Margaret Cunneen.

The New South Wales Opposition is not letting up on the same barrage of questions it aimed at the now-Family and Community Services Minister yesterday.

Then it was about whether he pressured a witness to the car crash that led to an ICAC investigation into Margaret Cunneen to make contact with her.

Today, Opposition Leader Luke Foley seems to be suggesting Mr Hazzard may have meddled in the ICAC investigation.

"Did you speak with counsel-assisting the ICAC in Operation Hale shortly before the scheduled public hearing and say to him, 'Do you know what you are doing?'" he asked.

Mr Hazzard said he had no idea, but was clearly sick of the insinuation he had acted inappropriately.

"You really are a very immature and very inexperienced leader, and you need to grow up," he responded.

-APN NEWSDESK



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