Measures target wrong foe: DSICA

THE alcohol industry has accused the NSW Government of targeting the wrong enemy in its proposed Kings Cross crackdown.

Under new plans, pubs and clubs in the notorious red light district will be forced to serve drinks with lower alcohol content while shots, doubles and high-strength pre-mixed drinks will be banned after midnight.

There is also a proposal to cut back opening hours and restrict the number of patrons allowed in each venue.

While Kings Cross has long had a reputation for out-of-control drunkenness and reckless violence, the bashing death of teenager Tom Kelly last month placed added pressure on the State Government to clean it up.

On Thursday, the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia said it supported the government's plans to tackle violence but rejected the suggestion that spirit restrictions would make a difference.

DSICA spokesman Stephen Riden said there was no evidence spirits had a worse impact on drinkers than beer and wine.

"The crackdown is in response to the sad and senseless death of Tom Kelly, which happened well before midnight and which has never been linked to alcohol issues. Would any of these measures have prevented such a tragedy?" Mr Riden said

"None of the trial measures announced by the government stop people abusing alcohol well before midnight."

Pub and club owners will meet in Kings Cross next week to discuss the reforms.

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