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HEATHER EWART, PRESENTER: The issues of binge drinking, extended pub trading hours and street
violence have been hot topics on the national political agenda in recent years.

Today, the New South Wales Police Association released graphic surveillance camera video of late
night violence on the streets of Wollongong, in support of its campaign to limit late night trading
hours in the city.

They're citing the success of a similar restriction in the city of Newcastle, but in the run-up to
the state election, neither the Kenneally Labor Government nor the Opposition is supporting the
push for earlier closing hours.

This report from Greg Miskelly contains images some viewers may find disturbing.

GREG MISKELLY, REPORTER: It's after 1 am in Wollongong, and this is what passes as late night
entertainment.

Sadly these picture of drunken violence, starkly captured on CCTV, are not rare. Local police say
this thuggery is typical of what to expect on any weekend.

DETECTIVE JASON HOGANS, POLICE ASSOCIATION NSW: There are numerous amounts of pubs in a very, very
small area. The problem is everyone comes to this small area. And when you put a lot of people in
one small area that have had a lot of alcohol to drink, inevitably there are going to be problems,
and we see that on a very regular basis.

BOUNCER: Just calm down, that'll do.

GREG MISKELLY: According to police the problem is related to the late closing of Wollongong's
hotels.

JASON HOGANS: Most of our very serious assaults take place after 3 O'clock. We capture a lot of
serious offences on CCTV footage within the Wollongong CBD and it's clearly obvious that the people
committing these offences are very intoxicated.

GREG MISKELLY: 250 kilometres to the north is another large, industrial city, Newcastle.

KRYPOS KYPRI, MEDICINE, NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY: When I first saw the footage in Wollongong it easily
could have been Newcastle.

A mall where there are a lot of people wandering at night, but no shops trading, but a lot of young
people ending up in fights.

Some of them are very severe assaults that cause lifelong disability or death.

GREG MISKELLY: But in 2008, residents won a legal battle to restrict the operating hours of
licensed venues.

Today in the Newcastle CBD there's a lockout at 1.30 am, followed by complete closure at 3.30 am.

Kypros Kypri is a medical researcher who recently published a major study on the Newcastle reforms.
His statistics show a massive decline in violent assaults.

KYPROS KYPRI: To see such a large reduction was a surprise. We saw a third reduction within the 18
months that followed the restriction that was brought into place in March 2008.

The overall reduction was 37 per cent, but it has its most marked effect after 3 am when people are
starting to go home.

GREG MISKELLY: Police in Wollongong are demanding a similar arrangement.

KYLE STEWART, WOLLONGONG POLICE COMMANDER: There is, on any conservative estimate, somewhere
between 50 to 70 per cent of what we do as police connected to alcohol use or alcohol abuse.

GREG MISKELLY: Today the New South Wales Police Association made a plea to have tougher
restrictions on hotel closing hours across the State.

They want it addressed as part of the current political campaign.

SCOTT WEBER, PRESIDENT, NEW SOUTH WALES POLICE ASSOCIATION: Police officers, emergency workers are
out there on the front line every night and we're seeing graphic violence like this. Enough is
enough. We need the politicians to actually come forward and make some policy decisions before this
election.

GREG MISKELL: But neitherthe Opposition or Labor Government, support the push for early closing
reforms.

JOHN HATTON, INDEPENDENT NSW SENATE CANDIDATE: Why the hell do the hotels have to be open between
three and five?

GREG MISKELLY: Anti-corruption activist, John Hatton, is a former independent MP for the South
Coast.

He's now running in the New South Wales Senate elections, and says political action has been
hampered by the alcohol lobby.

JOHN HATTON: It's costing the life and the future of our youth.

I'm telling you that I'm really seriously worried about that. And I'm saying to our political
leaders 'I'm totally disgusted with you, that you haven't got the guts to stand up and do something
about it.'

GREG MISKELLY: The hotel industry says closing pubs early is not the solution.

SALLY FIELKE, AUSTRALIAN HOTELIERS ASSOCIATION, NEW SOUTH WALES: Pubs are actually one of the
safest places to go out.

It's concerning to see that we're seeing police assaulted at house parties, we're seeing the
purchase and arrest on drugs ever on the increase and on the rise. We're dealing with social issues
in that respect.

But we're really proud of record now on pubs at the moment and they're often one of the safest
venues you can go to.

Jason Hogan agrees the wandering of drinkers in the small hours is a major catalyst for assaults.

KYLE STEWART: What it is that I want to see is the licencees, who are few in number, but who are
rogue traders, accept that there is a responsibility that extends beyond the front door of their
premises.

GREG MISKELLY: With the national cost of alcohol abuse estimated at $36 billion a year, police are
hoping this CCTV footage gives policy makers an impetus for change.

JASON HOGAN: The police at Wollongong are very frustrated at the lack of apparent. We just feel
that we should have a result by now.

KYPROS KYPRI: We spend millions of dollars on research on programs to improve all sorts of health
outcomes.

This is something we don't need more science, we don't need more research. What we know is that
restricting closing times will reduce assault rates.

To pay the price of a severe injury or death is, you know, a pretty severe price to pay for a
night's entertainment.