First Kings Cross bar bans imposed

The failure of a tender for ID scanners means bars in Sydney’s Kings Cross will have to rely on photos to identify banned patrons under new anti-violence measures.


Two Sydney men on Wednesday became the first patrons to have 12-month bans from “high-risk venues” at the Cross approved by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA).

The bans are part of new measures by the NSW government to combat drunken violence in the popular entertainment precinct.

The banned pair, a 43-year-old from Double Bay and 34-year-old from Lakemba, can’t enter 35 venues in the Cross and face fines of up to $5500 if they do so.

The ILGA can approve bans from NSW Police if a person has been charged or found guilty of a serious offence involving alcohol-related violence.

Bans can also kick in if a partygoer has been issued with three temporary banning orders in a year.

Wednesday’s approval of the bans for the two men comes amid a concession by the NSW government that the stalling of a planned roll-out of ID scanners was not ideal.

The scanners, designed to help venues recognise patrons who’d been banned, were due to be rolled out by December 6.

But the government was forced to take over a tender from the Kings Cross Precinct Liquor Accord after it failed amidst serious privacy and probity concerns.

NSW Hospitality Minister George Souris says it’s not ideal that the tender had failed, but he told reporters that clubs would manage with photos of banned patrons in their absence.

“Police will provide identification, including photographic identification, to the 35 venues that are part of this ban,” Mr Souris said.

“We do believe this scanner technology, once implemented, will make the situation safer … the identification of anyone breaching a banning order will be surer.”

Mr Souris said the government had no new deadline for the scanners to be in place but he hoped it would be in the first half of 2014.

Fourteen more police applications for long-term patron bans are being considered by the ILGA.

Comments are closed.