Sydney’s Lockout Laws Create the Three o’ Clock Swill


Sydney’s lockout laws have fuelled nightly hours-long speed-drinking sessions as people race to get as drunk as possible before bars and clubs close at 3am.

Historians have dubbed it “a marathon version” of the six o’ clock swill that existed from 1916 to 1955, when Sydney-siders pickled themselves into oblivion in the hour between finishing work at 5pm and the pub closing at 6pm.

Medics are calling for the lockout laws to be reviewed, noting that stampedes during last drinks in Sydney bars are “far more deadly” than coward punches.

“It’s a joke,” said one keen moderate drinker. “After having a few at home when I wake up in the arvo, hitting the pre-drinks at Dave’s, taking a longneck traveller to the pub, doing a few rounds with the boys, then doing shots at a nightclub, there’s barely time to even get a buzz before the 3am close – let alone smash $500 through Big Red or get a lappie.”

Pubs and clubs are taking the issue seriously, installing urinals and commode stools at the bar and intravenous beer taps in VIP rooms.

Politicians have promised to review the lockout laws as soon as the pubs and clubs near their recently purchased Kings Cross apartments close down.

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