Actor Sam Neil slams lockout laws only weeks after Stuart Kelly took his own life

Actor Sam Neil has taken a swipe at New South Wales premier Mike Baird and Sydney’s lockout laws saying they

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?

  1. Jayne  

    Is Sam worried that more of his wine products, from his NZ vineyards, won’t get sold?

    I’m fed up with so-called ‘celebrities’, particularly those who don’t even LIVE here, & former PM’s being asked their opinions on everything!
    They’ve ALL had their ‘time in the sun’!

    Due to his stance, my estimation of Sam Neill has just hit rock-bottom!

    How insensitive of him! Just disgusting.

  2. L. Patterson  

    Then don’t come Sam and on your way back home take a few of your countrymen with you they are part of the problem.

    • Rene  

      Think you’ll find the King hit so bravely delivered was from one of your own mate. Apt that yellow has been adopted by your national sporting representatives

  3. Lyn A.  

    You’ve lost me Sam Neil, I suggest you stay in NZ and mind your own business , really do people such as yourself really need a lot to drink to have a good time, that’s very sad , I too are sick of you big headed celebrities coming hear and voicing your opinions .

  4. Brett  

    Do not agree with his comments regarding greyhound racing, but why shouldn’t people be allowed to go out after a certain time at night? If you don’t see why people feel the need to party late then by all means go home and go to sleep, however you don’t have the right to tell someone else that they can’t…

    Comments come at a sad time for the Kelly family, but nonetheless he is simply stating his opinion on the situation and his comments about the nightlife are not an attack on anyone or ‘bullying’. What about people who work in hospitality and don’t necessarily have the same working schedule as the 9-5. Do you think because they finish work late that they shouldn’t be able to go out anywhere other than the casino or pokies venues (the only thing open late).

  5. Bruce Taylor  

    Think that the drop in violence supports the lock out. If people can’t have a drink without becoming violent and aggressive then they don’t deserve the opportunity to do so.
    Sam Neil has a reason for opposing the lock out. His sales of wine from the vineyards he is involved will fall. So he should not be commenting on it.,

    • tamehana rogers  

      Sam has offered his opinion as he’s entitled to The police are trying to make their job easier because they’re understaffed here Aotearoa is gonna end up the land of the long white wowsers

  6. Is very easy when is somebody else is son, he only care about his business ,how sad..

  7. Joan  

    The lockout laws started in Newcastle where I live. Here are the results: deaths, hospital admissions and assaults, all down, more licensed premises in Newcastle doing more business than they ever did before, because now people know it is safe to go out. I’ve heard that Kings Cross is better than ever. It’s just the alcohol industry saying that it is ‘dead’. Plenty of international cities have stricter laws: eg Los Angeles, closing time 1.00 am.

  8. Eric Bottle  

    Wine Sales ? At a night club ?? I think that would be a very small percentage compared to spirits & maybe beer:)
    Who remembers when staying out after midnight was REALLY adventurous ?You still had to get home before 1 am tho, cos you had to go to work that day ( or play tennis/cricket/football)
    Do todays young people REALLY know how to enjoy themselves without drinking all night ??
    I’m an ex Sydney resident, enjoying life in the Whitsundays, where the lock-out time has also been moved to earlier AND there have been less problems
    Eric Bottle

  9. Jo Carson  

    Dear Sam, just because something is part of our ‘culture’, doesn’t make it right or acceptable.

  10. Isabel Liddle  

    Yes Sam very insensitive!

    Coward punches were becoming a way of life and death and some brakes need to be put on!

    Additionally, small thought in comparison to family losing two sons – Adelaide is a great place for a weekend. We have great wineries also!

    You always seemed like such an intelligent and thoughtful person- note the past tense there.

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