Keeping Up With The Kellys

There are a number of things that grind my gears, and the gears of most other rational people. Political correctness gone mad, charity muggers and social justice ambulance chasers are up there. Two others that deserve a spot in the upper echelon of pet peeves would have to be conspiracy theories and reality television. Not the theories or programs themselves necessarily as they can be quite a lot of fun to mock. But more so the people that have an unhealthy obsession with them. I don’t get it. Real life frequently provides far more entertainment. Whether they someone who has been indoctrinated by youtube nutjobs or just someone who lives vicariously through whatever inane drivel is on the idiot box, they sure do get under the skin of this particular rant merchant. Which is why when researching this piece there were often times where I stopped and thought “Suuurely not”. But unlike the plethora of tin foil hat theories and reality nonsense out there, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

kelly tinfoil

The Sydney lockout laws are a topic that everyone has an opinion on. I’ve been sitting on this piece for about a month now, waiting for the right time to publish it as well as deciding whether or not I should. But given what has been exposed so far, it’s only right that the band-aids get completely removed.  It’s a topic that is quite emotional for many which results in rational, well thought out opinions being few and far between This piece on media hysteria I stumbled upon sums it up perfectly.

More so than any other was a brilliant opus published last week by tech entrepreneur and CEO of Matt Barrie. Mr Barrie is not a club owner, is not a DJ and does not have any incentive to post something of this magnitude other than deep concern about what is happening to his city. If you have not read Mr Barries opus as yet, do so immediately. It’s over 8000 words but each one is worth it. Naturally, this brilliant piece has gone viral and has received decent coverage even from the hypocritical media outlets he so scathingly calls out. Anything for a click it seems.

tele one punch

I’m personally a massive statistics nerd, so when Mr Barrie got to the nitty gritty I was absolutely frothing. I was not surprised in the slightest when he revealed massive discrepancies. There is no need for me to elaborate further, these findings speak for themselves. If you haven’t read it and were not listening the first time I said it, READ THE POST IMMEDIATELY! In the last couple of hours Inthemix has dug further and received confirmation from City of Sydney that the data “isn’t exact”. Seeing what Mr Barrie had uncovered proved that something very fishy was going on, and validated the angle I had been researching over the last couple of months.

kelly barrie

Anybody who has even slightly kept up with this topic in the news over the last couple of years has seen Ralph Kelly at some point. In 2012 Mr Kelly was hit with the most devastating news imaginable for any parent His son Thomas had been attacked by an unhinged scumbag in Kings Cross and tragically had not survived. Naturally and deservedly so an outpouring of sympathy was forthcoming and we all felt a portion of his pain. Understandably answers were sought and there was widespread anger and sadness. My Kelly established the Thomas Kelly Foundation in honour of his late son, a noble move which unquestionably had the full support of all. A foundation that would help prevent similar tragedies was something we could all applaud and get behind.

On New Year’s Eve 2013 another life was tragically cut short. Daniel Christie, another young man was killed in similar circumstances by a familiar style of perpetrator and at this point enough was enough. The media sprung in to action almost instantly, calling for an end to the violence that they claimed was an epidemic and the lobbying for new legislation begun. Never mind the proposed legislation had little relevance to either incident, something had to be done. Daniels father, Michael Christie (whose name I admit I had to google) delivered a moving tribute where he called for change, but also called for love, acceptance and forgiveness rather than hate and fear mongering. We did not hear from him again really, with Mr Christie choosing to shield his family from the spotlight and rebuild their live. One party who remained very vocal in the fight was Ralph Kelly, with the foundation determined to lead the charge for change.

kelly tele

Whilst good intentions were no doubt the reason for this fight, you don’t have to be an expert in policy to realise that when creating new legislation, cool heads are required. Emotion, anger and ultimately hysteria results in a distorted view of the topic at hand, a loss of perspective, perception and just bad decision making all round. Involving the father of a young man killed in the process was not only bad policy from the government, it was exploitation even. That’s what it seemed like at first anyway.

The first dozen times Mr Kelly appeared on TV delivering another sermon on the evils of alcohol it was easy to emphasise and understand his right to be angry. It was also easy to condemn the media for taking advantage of him. But when he continuously fronted up, often calling his own press conferences, the sceptical ones amongst us began to question his motives. Especially given his role as Managing Director of Hemisphere Hospitality Solutions, a company that specialised in marketing of hotels and resorts. While their clients are generally accommodation suppliers, one of the largest sources of revenue for these businesses is of course, grog. But given the potential for good, this was something that many were able to accept, even though it didn’t seem totally right.

kelly hospo.jpg

Now, maybe it’s just me. But if I was truly against alcohol and held it mainly responsible for the death of a loved one, I would distance myself as far as possible from any company that profited from the sale of alcohol. I certainly would not retain a position as a grog salesman by proxy. But that’s exactly what we were seeing, right before our eyes. Press releases, blogs, media spots were coming at us thick and fast, and not just in the papers or on the news. But from the foundation itself. What had begun as a grieving father justifiably mourning his son, had evolved into a full blown moral assault on anything, everything and everyone that was remotely linked to the events of 2012. Mr Kelly was seemingly out for two things. Potentially revenge, and to be seen as championing change.

By this point in time sympathy was beginning to wear a little thin and when Mr Kelly began to involve his whole family in the performance, something began to not feel right. His youngest son was continuously wheeled out in to the spotlight, delivering scathing statements about the debauchery and danger of Kings Cross and the so called booze culture, declaring “Australia was an alcoholic”. Fairly impressive for a teenage private school boy from Bowral. Mother of Thomas, Kathy Kelly quickly found herself to be quite the speaker. So often she was seen stoically standing by her husband as he embarked on his moral crusade. Now she was a force of her own. None of this seemed right, and the Kelly’s not only seemed to be thriving in the public eye, they seemed to be revelling in it.

kelly speech

The launch of the Thomas Kelly Foundation was held in 2013. At the time nobody batted an eyelid in regards to where it was held, although back then people had no reason to. In years to come when the foundation returned for another decadent gala ball there would definitely be some questions asked. For the foundations home was also a home of gambling and vice – The Star. Not only was The Star known as one of the most violent venues in the country, it had benefited immensely from the destruction of our cities nightlife. Conveniently excluded from the lockout zone, it continued to enjoy its 24/7 licence as well as the skyrocketing patronage as partygoers and night owls had no other alternative from 1.31am.

kelly casino.jpg

The gala balls were lavish evenings, with guests enjoying performances from D list entertainers, as well as a sumptuous banquet washed down with unlimited booze. What on Earth was going on here? A family that had apparently been torn apart by alcohol were willingly in the casino, surrounded by rivers of the stuff. Here we had, one of the two faces of the lockout campaign, dining out on the dollar of the biggest beneficiary.

kelly crown

What I discovered next was shocking. Intially wanting to write a positive story about the foundation, before then wanting to offer the benefit of the doubt, I checked out the Foundations website to see what they were doing with the money raised from their constant fundraising. Their association with The Star was hard to swallow, but if the money was going to a good cause and was preventing future violence, then it would be somewhat acceptable. I mean, an event in 2015 raised over two hundred thousand dollars. Surely a lot of good could be done. Especially given their short and long term Objectives and Strategy found here

kelly foundation objectives

I had a look through their long list of supporters already knowing the Star was heavily involved and it was with great disgust that I saw another name, proudly displayed amongst the top foundation partners. No prizes for guessing who. Crown Resorts Foundation & The Packer Family Foundation. Alongside the NSW Government, City of Sydney Council and Macquarie Bank. All partners were apparently supporting the so called Take Kare Safe Spaces.

kelly take kare

Pop up zones in the city and kings cross that were there to look out for people on their way home. A shame there was nobody out, and almost nobody knew of their existence. As usual, it looks like data has been fudged to make this initiative appear to be an overwhelming success. New Years Eve dates heavily pump up their numbers, and “people helped” apparently covered everything from someone wanting a free bottle of water, someone asking the time to someone who accepted one of their free lollipops. What claimed to be a large, successful campaign looked to be nothing more than a PR stunt. I’m not sure what is more concerning. The fact that so much time, effort and money has been wasted on something that appeared to serve no purpose other than posturing? Or the fact that they blatantly ripped off Young Thug & Lil Wayne when coming up with the name!


Surely something else was being done. The first statement I came across seemed fair enough “We work with corporate partners to generate funds and create sustainable funding models with other charitable organisations and foundations who our goals” A little ambiguous, missing a word or two but seemingly admirable enough. What was discovered next, not so much.

Every dollar from all public donations received will be spent lobbying our governments at all levels. Hold up a minute here. Every dollar receivedTHIS IS A DIRECT CONTRADICTION TO THEIR OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES outlined above.

Whilst this does say public donations a search of their financial records as per their 2014 annual report (the 2015 report is nowhere to be found, despite it being over 7 months since the end of the financial year) reveals absolutely zero record of any notable expenditure other than lobbying, research expenses, administration, staff and more fundraising. There is also zero record of what any corporate dollars have been spent on, other than the Take Kare Safe Space which is also funded by the Salvos and run entirely by volunteers. The lack of accessible information is in my opinion conspicuous. I am extremely interested to see the 2015 report, but as of February 2016 it is nowhere to be found.

kelly foundation 2014 annual report

Essentially every dollar raised has gone not to victims of crime, not to education, not to public safety but to research, spreading that research and raising more money. You can find the results of their research here. Obviously we all know what can be done with statistics thanks to common sense and the Matt Barrie article. But all this data that was apparently compiled for no less than $66,000 is all freely available to the public. Sixty six thousand dollars, spent entirely on publicly available information and hand-picked expert opinions. For lobbying.

kelly research


Lobbying what exactly? The laws had been passed, and an extensive search yielded no results of any other campaigns for education, prevention, victim assistance or anything other than denouncing the demon drink and the venues that served it. Except for the existing and future casinos. Ralph Kelly, the face of the lockout campaigns has essentially been lobbying on behalf of the casino the entire time. Not intentionally like we so often see with political donations and lobbying and nothing illegal or untoward is being suggested here. but it has become crystal clear that a man who had campaigned so hard for the destruction of Sydney night life has been fuelled by parties who stood to reap millions, if not billions of dollars as a result. He has been used like a pawn. The constant media appearances, the press conferences, the heartfelt words of children had all indirectly been for the benefit of Crown and The Star. Two organisations with billions of dollars behind them who exist only to plunder every last cent from all who walk through their doors. The fact that young people with no desire to gamble were now being forced to enter these kind of establishments and be exposed to thousands of ways to lose only adds to the sickening reality of this.

This entire campaign appears to be have been mainly funded by the casinos, with Ralph starting as a pawn but possibly evolving into a more than willing puppet. Surely you would see a conflict like that? Questions must be asked. Where has the rest of the money raised gone? Is there a war chest ready for the next campaign, which will surely be hitting our TV screens and newspapers any day now? Why has Ralph Kelly so willingly driven this campaign? If it was truly to honour Thomas then why is there so much hypocrisy? This is a man who had the audacity to publish an article suggesting sporting codes need to reconsider “unhealthy sponsorship”. Unbelievable! Nothing here adds up.

My attention was then drawn to Mrs Kathy Kelly and I quickly discovered several glowing reviews and articles about her as a public speaker. But not just any public speaker, a motivational speaker. Represented by a number of agencies, available to book for your next function or event, enquire within. Having had dealings with these firms in the past, I can tell you now it is not cheap at all to book a speaker the calibre of Mrs Kelly (yes, you read that hyperlink correctly, that is her linkedin URL). Especially not one with such a courageous story. At first glance it would be seen as a brave and generous way to spend one’s life. At first. Until seeing how far and wide her services had been advertised and spread. Here was a woman, who as horrible as it is to think, appeared to be cashing in on her own child’s death.

kelly bro

By this stage all sympathy was long gone. Ralph had long confirmed his media whore status, becoming the go-to guy – whenever a quote was needed, he was already offering one. All for the benefit of multi-billion dollar gambling empires. A wife who carved a potentially lucrative career on the speaking circuit. Children were revelling in the spotlight, preaching to all about things they would have no understanding of. What was once considered a loving family now more or less Australia’s very own version of the Kardashians.

scott disick.jpg

Of course we can’t have the Kardashians without a notable outsider, a Scott Disick, along for the ride. Enter the other half of the dynamic duo that were the face of the lockout campaign; respected doctor, head of St Vincent’s Emergency and recently crowned Senior Australian of The Year, Dr Gordian Fulde. Of course, you might recognise Dr Fulde from his career as a celebrity in his own right, being the star of reality program Kings Cross ER.

kings cross er

Dr Fulde has a medical career that cannot be questioned and he has seen it all. This is beyond doubt. His public appearances were stirring and emotional, showing the signs of a man that had seen too much for one lifetime. Undoubtedly, his testimony was the other main influence of the legislation that defied statistics, reason and logic.

dr fulde

Until recently, Dr Fulde and his hard line stance on the myth currently known as “alcohol-fuelled violence” was easily justified by his position. That was until he appeared on ABCs popular talk show Q&A. You can watch the segment in question here, read the transcript here and read a summary here. The sheer arrogance displayed by Dr Fulde as he treated a young man asking a question with disdain was enough to make ones skin crawl. The young man in question had admittedly not asked the best question, but he’s not to blame for that and I have no doubt he was handpicked by producers who allowed him to be mocked and bullied by the Senior Australian of The Year. Here are some of the lowlights.
kelly qanda


I’m not sure what is more disturbing here. that a medical professional appears to be advocating boozing at 4am at home, endorsing pre-loading before going out, admitting that the lockout laws are utterly pointless and have no relevance or recommending an 18 year old just go to the casino. “You can go to the casino, right”. Sorry???? To summarise –

It does not matter what time the bars are open, you can get drunk whenever you want.

You should go to the casino and experience one of the most violent venues in the country with the added bonus of exposing yourself to the risks of gambling and all the socio economic issues that come with it.

All in such a smug, belittling tone as well. This behaviour is totally unacceptable, unbecoming of an Australian of the Year award recipient. I would go as far as to say he has brought National Australia Day Council into disrepute and perhaps should be immediately stripped of his award!  He has disrespected all prior recipients of the award and all Australians with his disgraceful performance. Now, now calm the hysteria – he isn’t a footy player! In all seriousness though, The only thing that makes this situation even odder is what perhaps his motivations were.

packer fight

Mr Kelly & Dr Fulde and The Kelly Foundation & St Vincent’s have more in common than just being the hot headed, emotional wrecking balls that decimated a city. They both appear to have difficulty identifying a clear conflict of interest. They are both financed by, you guessed it, gambling dollars. Millions were recently pledged to St Vincent’s, and casinos have a long history of supporting hospitals in a transparent effort to make them appear to be of benefit to the community. Lives can be saved thanks to lives that have been destroyed. The ultimate irony, but something that has long been allowed to happen and will not be stopping any time soon.

cas rev.png

So there we have it. The culture and night life of a once world-renowned city in ruins. A local government committing statistical fraud to push an agenda. A state government in bed with the casinos and an Opposition that did nothing to stop any of it. Laws that we have all known to be unjust were fuelled by the biggest benefactors this entire time. A family destroyed was somehow able to pick up the pieces and turn tragedy into fame, profit and power. A dedicated doctor finally showed his true colours and threw away his credibility in a matter of seconds. And then behind the scenes we’ve got a bunch of fat cats enjoying expensive scotch (well after 3am), smoking cigars and counting their cash. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

And more keeps coming to the surface..

You could not make this stuff up if you tried.








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35 thoughts on “Keeping Up With The Kellys

  1. It’s not the popular thing to do but asking for accountability of donations is necessary. Lately there have been several cases of alleged outright fraud (Belle Gibson) and not a lot of worthwhile activity from the Shane Warne Foundation despite raising a lot of money. Unfortunately, the longer the wait, the less money will be recovered.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve come to this page via another, discussing the recent death of Ralph’s other son.

    How tragic that two young lives have been lost. Both preventable. If what you’ve said is true, then the cause for the second death sits within range of his parents behaviour. How utterly tragic.


    1. Hi Liz,

      Unlike the mainstream media I feel it’s a tad disrespectful to speculate or comment on this tragedy right now. All I can say is my thoughts are with the family as nobody deserves to face something like this once, let alone twice, regardless of the circumstances.

      RIP 😦


  3. Wow – I can’t see how lock out laws can be hailed a success when the increases in violence seem to be doubled what the decreases are. And to find out today what the Kellies are making through the foundation is just sickening. Everybody has a right to earn a living – but at $125,000 a year? I thought it looked like a duck and quacked like a duck but I thought I was being mean and somehow inhumane. It feels so much worse to realise now that my gut was probably right all along.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is no longer any justification for the laws. Every reason has been debunked, and would all be documented in various articles I’ve published. If you haven’t checked out these two yet, there is even more evidence of all the bullshit we’ve been fed –

      I know what you mean regarding the story. I thought the same when agonising over whether or not I should publish this piece. It wasn’t a nice feeling uncovering everything I have so far, especially given the motivation for even looking was to use the Foundation as an example of an organization who was actually making a difference. But unfortunately it appears we’ve all been taken for a ride.


  4. What a low blow. No wonder this “blog” has received such little attention – nasty, especially given they lost their son.
    I believe this has been posted on their FB page and I’m sure the police commissioner will be looking at this article and the disgraceful threats made against the Kelly family posted after this “blog” was put on their page.
    At the end of the day with the coalition, Labor, nurses, surgeons and the police in support of the lockouts you are on the losing side.Noisy nightclubbers and the alcohol industry and no match against the NSW public.
    You really are a grub.


    1. Thanks for reading the blog and chiming in. Appreciate the support. I had the option to approve this comment or simply leave it in purgatory but unlike our premiers social media team I have no interest in censoring my readers. Besides, this opportunity was too good to pass up.

      Firstly, thousands and thousands of people would disagree with you.

      Secondly, if you could actually read the article through your red mist you would have seen that there was and always will be sympathy for the loss of a child.

      Thirdly, this is the typical emotional and irrational response of someone who refuses to accept reason and logic. You’re not an anti-vaxxer by any chance, are you?

      Not sure where these alleged threats are or who has apparently made them? Even if they actually exist surely they wouldn’t be because of a “blog” that has “received such little attention”? Besides, if the police commissioner is spending his time reading “blogs” that “received such little attention” because a few people had their feelings hurt, our justice system is in worse shape than I initially thought. Talk about tackling the big issues Andy!

      Wake up and face facts, Jake. You were emotionally manipulated. Yes, what happened was tragic. Yes, we all sympathise with the family for that reason. But tragedy does not excuse what appears to be very poor behaviour.

      The protected species tag can only be held on to for so long. Are you suggesting that anyone who suffers tragedy is beyond reproach for any of their actions for the rest of their lives?

      Grow up. You obviously have zero grasp on the topic at hand, and indeed reality. The tide is turning my friend. Even your moral dictators in the media are changing their tune.

      I would love to say you had better get ready for change, but let’s be honest. We both know these laws and whether they are repealed or not has no impact whatsoever on your sheltered, suburban, tabloid media consuming life.

      Cheers for the click, remember to click “subscribe” so you can have the latest delivered straight to your inbox, fresh off the press every time 🙂


      1. Surelynotadmin, your own article shows a heightened sense of conspiracy itself, and is full of its own exaggerations and overblown criticism of people like Fulde (the fact you think he might be an arrogant cock is not really relevant to the issue, surely). That’s a shame, because there is indeed much to critcise over the way these laws were formulated (vs. the laws themselves). I agree using a parent of a dead child to push a political issue is an extremely bad way to formulate policy (a similar situation when the kid who drowned in Greece resulted in a wholesale change in Germany’s immigration policy and a mass influx of Syrians, without any considered analysis or consultation with the voters), but the solid analysis says that violence has dropped due to lockout laws. I also agree that the casino’s (and Packer’s links) to the whole scheme stinks to high heaven. Regardless of how we got there (which is appropriately criticised), don’t conflate it with the broader debate for today: whether we want less violence, or more freedom for the individual (and the business), including the tiny minority who want to stuff up other people’s lives. Given the reduction in violence (pretty high quality evidence for this, even if the effect is not as large as you might expect) you can see why the least-biased studies show voters supporting the policy (hint re studies: they’re not the ones on newspapers that generally get taken over by shills for the booze industry). By the way, Matt Barrie’s article has been pretty much demolished: faulty, emotive logic, and no understanding of how medical or social research is done. It’s presentation as something ‘factual’ is testament to the vapidity of social media, but it’s content didn’t add anything to the debate – it was argued poorly.


        1. Hi Lola,

          Thanks for your response. In all honesty it’s a nice change from the deluge of abuse my inbox has received over the last few days, and I do appreciate criticism when it’s well thought out and articulated in this manner.

          Firstly, I’d just like to provide a bit of background which may go some way to explaining the overall tone of this rant (let’s be honest, that’s what we’re dealing with here!). When I first decided to create this website, it was mainly due to my love of a good, old fashioned Facebook rant. They seemed to go down well with friends and quite frankly, I never anticipated having more than one hundred odd people read any article I published. So I guess you could say the sensationalism and overall tone was applied as way of hamming it up – purely for my benefit and that of the only people I thought would be reading – people I knew, and people that would “get” it. Had my intention been to publish stories for a wider audience, I dare say it would have been toned down a notch! I’d like to think more recent articles on the topic of lockout laws reflect a change in intent somewhat.

          I should also clarify, it was with disappointment I wrote this piece. I touched on it briefly in the article, but my reasons for having a look at what the foundation was up to stemmed from a desire to tell a good news story. In a previous rant on the lockout laws, I was critical of, well, everything and everyone. I turned to the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation to find some examples of good work being done. I was a strong supporter of their initial objectives, such as working with venues to target anti-social behaviour, educational programs and youth engagement. I’d always heard so much about these objectives and just assumed they were being implemented. So it was quite a shock when I discovered it appeared none had been acted on. It was at that point it became clear in my opinion, that other parties had appeared to have used this poor family to further their own agendas.

          I’m glad you seem to agree with my sentiments regarding emotion and policy. Greece is a great example of why it’s such a bad idea to combine the two. Aside from the obvious pitfalls involving rash decisions, knee-jerk reactions, etc, the other huge issue is any criticism of said policy becomes taboo. Very legitimate scrutiny and discussion essentially gets shut down because “how could anyone argue with xyz that’s going to prevent children being killed, etc” You’d have to be a heartless monster! A lot of this ties in with the monster that is political correctness in 2016 also, but that’s a discussion for another day.

          Now, as for analysis indicating violence has dropped as a result of lockouts, this is something I strongly disagree with. I briefly touch on it in this article – and will be publishing an extensive analysis based on 15 years of data shortly. While it’s obvious that assaults in the Kings Cross area have dropped, I would attribute the reduction entirely to a massive decrease in patronage. Whilst I know everyone will have their own opinion on what level of reduction is considered “good” or “acceptable”, etc – it’s hard to deny that given the decrease in patronage, the reduction “should” be far more significant than it is.

          For starters, in Kings Cross the year before lockouts saw, on average, 35 assaults per month. Post lockouts that number has dropped to 21. But patronage has dropped from 30,000 per weekend to 6,000. Without even considering the fact that policing the area is now far more manageable (therefore making prevention fare easier), that’s an 80% drop. Applying that drop to assaults (0.2/35), a reasonable “target” or even “pass mark” would be seven assaults per month. Instead, people consider 21 – three times what it should be when factoring in reduced patronage – a win?

          As for the point of where do we compromise between violence and freedom – it would appear we’ve copped a pretty crummy deal. For starters, I don’t believe it was a compromise that needed to be made. BOCSAR figures show that assaults related to alcohol in Kings Cross and the CBD have been steadily declining for years. Despite what fearmongering media and the perpetually hysterical health lobby suggest, things weren’t (and aren’t) getting worse. They were (and are) getting better. Lockouts has not expedited the downward trend either.

          Without wanting to sound contradictory, despite the downward trends it’s hard to see what, if any, contribution lockouts has made to reducing violence. Especially when we so frequently see brawls in the suburbs, in daylight hours, with combatants who are seemingly getting younger and younger. There are dozens of root causes of violence, none of which have been addressed by the implementation of lockouts. Examples A, B, C and D –

          This is why I’m so sceptical of the figures and analysis we see trumpeted by the media. They simply don’t add up. I’m interested to know what analysis specifically you’re referring to, because they may be figures I’m not aware of. If not, I’m yet to see a compelling argument from the pro-lockout lobby in regards to violence.

          As for the booze industry shills, I never bought into that. The bombardment of online media polling was genuine, and The AHA didn’t even enter the fray until a couple of months ago. Not to mention, in this day and age I dare say the health lobby has far eclipsed the booze lobby in size and influence.

          I’ll also disagree with your assertion Matt Barrie’s piece didn’t add anything to the argument. I’d say the opposite is true. His initial piece brought the topic well and truly back into the spotlight. Before February there hadn’t been much from opponents or supporters in quite some time. In two and a half years I still don’t feel the issue has been discussed or debated appropriately, one can only hope that opportunity arises after the findings of Ian Callinan’s review are published.


      2. Instead of more overblown criticism (anti-vaxxer? where the hell did that come from?), you’d make a better riposte if you addressed the issues raised in the post: the wide support for lockout laws from people who have to deal with the mess of uncontrolled drinking, and a better reason for repealing them than ‘thousands of thousands’ of people disagree with them’. Not the most convincing way to argue you’re on the right side – in fact, the only reasonable quality study I saw showed most voters were behind the laws, and the reduction in violence is more or less indisputable. Personally, I’m not bloody minded about keeping the laws myself – the number of deaths is small in the overall scheme, and the damage to business is great – there are probably far more intelligent policies out there that would save more lives. One slightly bizarre one I’ll admit is to put foam on kerbs in Kings Cross. These deaths were all due to heads hitting cement – it would probably be cheaper to just make the kerbs soft, although inner city Sydney’s ex-night life with its booze barns, titty-bars and megaclubs would look even more ridiculous than it does now. Seriously though, a more sensible policy might have been to restrict licensing for the large venues, and the strip joints. The problem people seem to have frequented these sorts of places before they went on their roid-driven rampages, not the intimate little places that Melbourne is more well known for. Lastly, despite the hysteria on all sides, it’s not all doom and gloom: I expect the industry will adapt over time, and people will realise they can still have a good night not drinking till 5am – this seems to be the case in many overseas citied/night-life cultures we aspire too.


        1. Hopefully the start of my previous comment clarifies the start of this comment!

          Softening the kerbs is certainly an interesting suggestion, however personally I would prefer a solution that involves thugs refraining from assaulting people! Chicken and the egg, so to speak.

          It’s funny you mention the so-called booze barns and megaclubs. They are ridiculous. But what’s more ridiculous is they’re the venues still standing. If you look at all the venue that have closed due to the laws, the vast majority fall firmly outside that category. These are the cool spots that were run by a small team, who didn’t have huge backing or weren’t part of a big hospitality group. So essentially it’s a double kick in the teeth. We lose a number of great venues, and the remaining alternative isn’t overly appealing.

          You touch on a good point when you talk about problem venues and their problematic clientele. Regarding the two thugs that were responsible for the senseless deaths of Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie – they weren’t actually drinking anywhere in the cross or CBD. In fact, both got denied entry to multiple venues. The problem is a) these boneheads got loaded on cheap booze out in the suburbs and on their way in and b) they’re inherently violent human beings. But back to what you say about problem venues and problem clientele – there’s the solution. You punish the venues that do the wrong thing. It’s absurd to thing that a late night cocktail bar with great food and live music should be held accountable for the actions of a poorly run “booze barn” that offers nothing other than a room to get loaded in. It’s not intelligent policy and most of all it’s not at all fair.

          As for voters opinions, this isn’t the kind of thing where I’d personally take note of what voters overall felt. It’s too much of a generational thing, and I don’t feel like starting a gen X, Y, whatever they’re called vs Baby Boomers debate – because essentially that’s what it becomes every time.

          Speaking of Melbourne – their bar scene, nightlife and culture is fantastic. We should be trying to emulate what they have. Clearly they don’t require lockouts or prohibition so why isn’t that what we’re striving for? Or London? The industry will adapt, and already has. I oversaw this personally when I was in the industry, so much so that my performance was deemed worthy of a state level industry award. It’s not about staying out til 5am either. Personally I don’t think I could even do it any more! But everyone has different lives and different circumstances. For some people, 5am is what we consider 6pm.

          But the industry is adapting the wrong way! It shouldn’t be having to adapt to survive under these conditions, it should be adapting to thrive, grow and prosper. The question I have is this – why are we adapting to become more like Newcastle when if anything, we should be adapting to become more like Melbourne, London, Berlin, New York, Paris, etc, etc, etc.


  5. Thanks for your work here. It’s a great read and confirms what many have believed to be the case for some time now. This is not about protecting anyone except their own business interests.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had long questioned the motivations of Ralph with his constant media appearances and as callous as it sounds, my sympathy ran dry a long time ago. Up until recently I believed he had just grown addicted to the spotlight. Or maybe it was just his way of coping and holding on. But I have little doubt there are other motivating factors now.

      I was expecting a bit of a backlash with this to be honest. The topic is fairly taboo and an “attack” on a protected species always has the potential to blow up. But the support has been overwhelming. So many people have told me I’ve basically said what they’ve been thinking for a while. Which is fantastic, but I wish someone in the mainstream media had the guts to pick the story up. It seems none of them do. Enough prominent people have shared, endorsed and read this, I have no doubt a number of journalists would have too.

      What I want to know is, how would the public respond to this? A number of lock out supporters hold those views purely due to what they saw in the news. I dare say a number of those supporters would be somewhat opposed to gambling as well. I wonder how they would respond if they knew they had been emotionally manipulated into supporting a cause backed by the gambling dollar? Or what they would say if they were told they had been tricked into inadvertently supporting the casinos?

      I feel this is only the tip of the iceberg as well. I don’t have the time or the resources to dig further (not that I’m letting that stop me!) but this is a story that needs to be told.


  6. Absolutely brilliant expose on the lockout laws. Well done. How embarrassing to be treated with such distain by our elected officials. I have never thought about anarchy but this issue is making me consider it. Can you believe that?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is embarrassing. But they’re getting away with it without anyone saying a word, and I don’t blame them for cashing in really. A wise bloke I know coined the quote “It’s only a scam if you’re not in on it” and I think that is very apt here.

      What annoys me the most, is our pathetic media. They are more than happy to vox an innocent man when it suits them and leave him open to death threats and everything else –

      But when it comes to actually reporting on some seriously shady shit that involves a protected species their silence is deafening. I’ve reached out to a number of organisations and none have the balls to run with something this provocative.

      Haha agreed re your last point. I briefly flirted with the idea of attending an upcoming rally until I started reading the comments in the Facebook event.


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