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Deputy premier tony grant said lockout laws dont have the greatest impact

A TOP politician in NSW backs changes to Sydney’s controversial lockout laws, despite NSW Premier Mike Baird refusing to budge.

Dubbo MP and Deputy Premier Tony Grant believes keeping venues open for revellers until 3am does not cause problems.

Instead, he thinks serving alcohol into the early hours of the morning is what fuels late-night violence.

The contenttype="text" Daily Telegraph reports Mr Grant would support extending the lockout times at late-night venues from 1.30am to 3am and was calling for a reform so people could take away alcohol after 10pm.

According to the Daily Telegraph, evidence shows the lockout laws have not reduced weekday crime between 1.30am and 3am, but violence has been reduced after 3am.

Every bit of evidence Ive seen or heard about, even in my previous experience with liquor accord arrangements, its not the lockouts that have the greatest impact, its the last drinks, Mr Grant told the Daily Telegraph.

He also said people who worked after 10pm should have the option of buying alcohol to take home as it was something farmers traditionally did during harvest time.

His views conflict with Mr Baird, who is sticking to his controversial decision to keep former Premier Barry OFarrells lockout laws, which bans venues from letting in new patrons after 1.30pm.

The Premier has copped criticism for his refusal to review the laws and a petition even circulated calling for Mr Baird to resign because he was out of touch and had no understanding of his own city.

A number of businesses have closed in Kings Cross and the once lively party strip has been left deserted.

But Mr Baird said claims Sydney had become a ghost town were hysterical.

Mr Grant said if former High Court judge Ian Callinan, who is conducting a two-year review into the lockout laws, called for changes to lockout laws, he would also support it.

If Callinan recommends pushing the lockouts back, I think its something we absolutely should do. If youre trying to control the quantity of alcohol people consume ... last drinks is most effective, Mr Grant told the Daily Telegraph.

The governments sprint to an election campaign leave legislation in limbo


PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbulls unprecedented one-two hit to the body politic of Australia has left the Government with an acute timing problem.

For the first time, a Budget will be delivered and then an election called within the same week.

That means the bulk of the Budget will be left hanging in legislative limbo for at least the two months of the campaign leading to the July 2 polling day.

Only the element, known as Supply the bit of the Budget which has to be passed so the government has money to pay for its daily running costs and wages will come before Parliament before the place shuts down for the election.

Effectively the government will be telling voters: If you want this Budget to become reality, you have to re-elect us.

The parallel message from Labor is: Only we can block this Budget. In short, everything is merely an election promise, according to shadow treasurer Chris Bowen.

The timing, and what Treasurer Scott Morrison today called the unusual situation is further underlined by the fact the government wants to begin its income tax cuts the day after the July 2 election, according to Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.

It cannot guarantee that because an election is in the way.

Mr Morrison today insisted there was no problem and the usual routine would operate. Which would be unlikely because by his own observation these are not routine times.

The Budget will be legislated in the normal way, Mr Morrison said. When further questioned by reporters he declined to elaborate, saying curtly, Ive just said the Budget will be legislated in the normal way.

By normal way Mr Morrison meant if we win the election.

On the tax cuts he said: Those details will be spelled out in the Budget tomorrow night and the legislative program will follow the usual course.

Soon after, at the same press conference, the Treasurer acknowledged Budget matters would not follow the usual course. It most certainly will not be legislative business as usual.

There will be some special appropriation Bills that will come into the House of Representatives today which deal with the unusual situation that we have going to an election on July 2, Mr Morrison said.

That will ensure a continuity of Supply over the course of the election period. But the Budget will be legislated in the usual way.

Meanwhile the government already is facing Budget criticism from its own side.

West Australian Liberal MP Dennis Jensen, who lost preselection for the seat of Tangney, made clear he would not be spending his final week in Parliament tamely.

He attacked reports wealthy superannuation savers could lose some tax concessions.

I wouldnt like to see that, he told reporters.

I think that we need to ensure that people actually save for their superannuation. Weve got to be very careful about the consequences of decisions.

Its all very easy at first glance to say, Well, this is an easy one to do. But there are potential ramifications and I dont think theyve been thought through.