The scale of violence in the Kings Cross nightclub precinct has come to the attention of people after the unprovoked assault on 18-year old Thomas Kelly, which resulted in his death after being ‘king-hit’.
A public forum at Sydney Town Hall on the evening of Tuesday 17 July 2012 was organized by the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
It brought together eight panelists and members of the public to address what needed to be done to solve the problems of late night alcohol fuelled violence in ‘the Cross’.
The members of the panel were Doug Grand, Chief Executive, Kings Cross Licensing Accord, Paul Nicolaou, CEO Australian Hotels Association, George Souris, Hospitality Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, Federal Member for Wentworth and Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband, Matthew Moore, Urban Affairs Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney, Mark Murdoch, Assistant Commissioner NSW Police, Don Weatherburn, Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
Malcolm Turnbull pointed out that the Kings Cross area was primarily home to those who lived there. The Potts Point, Woolloomooloo, Elizabeth Bay, etc. area was the most densely populated precinct in Australia.
Clover Moore believed that better transport was needed. There was a long gap between the last train from Kings Cross at night and the first one in the morning at just the time when people needed transport because they would be leaving the night life venues. She was in favour of a one-way “sprint service” to get people out of the area and long term to have 24-hour transport.
Assistant Commissioner of NSW Police, Mark Murdoch, explained that the Thomas Kelly investigation is progressing.
He posed the question – “What is the problem?” He believed it to be a much broader issue than just Kings Cross and not solely a police problem.
More images of the public forum can be seen here
About three months ago an incident occurred in Kings Cross, which resulted in the police shooting two Aboriginal teens who were in a stolen car. A rally took place outside the Kings Cross police station to protest against the shooting. The Digital Journal report can be seen here