Actor Sam Neil has taken a swipe at New South Wales premier Mike Baird and Sydney’s lockout laws saying they are “sucking the life” out of the city.
While speaking at a press conference on Monday, Sam gave his harsh assessment of the lockout rules, blatantly stating they were ruining Sydney’s nightlife.
His comments come just weeks after 19-year-old Stuart Kelly took his own life after being bullied relentlessly over his family’s campaign for the laws.
The Kelly family worked tirelessly to bring in the laws after Stuart’s older brother Thomas was killed in a one punch attack after a night out in Kings Cross.
However, while their campaign received huge support from some, others took it upon themselves to troll and abuse young Stuart, blaming him for cutting down their late night drinking and partying hours.
Stuart was forced to drop out of university because of the bullying, but still received hate mail and vicious messages. Eventually it became too much and the Kelly’s tragically lost another son.
Now, some a questioning whether or not Sam’s comments about the laws so soon after Stuart’s death are insensitive.
As such a high-profile actor, Sam’s words have quickly spread around the media with many praising him for speaking out.
“Sydney (in the 1970s) seemed to me to be the most vibrant place in the world and I think a lot of that vibrancy has been sucked out of the place,” Neill said.
“I particularly lament this lockout which has taken the guts out of the nightlife of Sydney. And Sydney without nightlife is kind of a pointless place.
“I don’t really want to see Adelaide being a place to go for a good weekend.”
He said Kings Cross was now one of the saddest places in the world due to the lack of nightlife.
“Instead of making the streets safe, they’ve just stopped the streets,” he said.
While the Kelly family would no doubt agree Kings Cross is one of the saddest places on earth, their reasons are different of course as it is the place where Thomas was hit.
Some have accused Sam of being insensitive towards the Kelly family with his comments, with many saying the law is the law and people should just let it rest.
What are your thoughts on this?
Is it insensitive to speak out like this so soon after Stuart’s tragic death? Do you think the lockout laws are a good thing?