A silver bullet to reduce underage boozing is available but the NSW government has bowed to industry pressure instead of protecting the young, police have told an inquiry.
Reduced trading hours, limiting the sale of high-alcohol content drinks, and lockouts resulted in a 37 per cent decrease in late night assaults when the measures were trialled in Newcastle.
"If that was the road toll there would be handstands being done down Macquarie Street to introduce it," Peter Remfrey, secretary of the police union, said.
He was speaking at a parliamentary inquiry into strategies to reduce alcohol abuse among young people.
"We can only surmise that it's the influence of the industry that has stopped the ongoing rollout of this," Mr Remfrey said.
Scott Webber, president of the Police Association of NSW, told the hearing the model should be rolled out across NSW.
"It beggars belief for all police officers that this hasn't been introduced," he told the hearing.
"If we were talking about any other strategy we think it would be introduced."
Mr Webber pointed to the involvement of "very powerful lobby groups".
"If we want a silver bullet that can actually start to reduce the problem straight away we believe the Newcastle model is it."
Doctors, paramedics, nurses, social workers and community groups all back the police approach to the "massive problem", which takes up about 80 per cent of their time after midnight.
Greg Chilvers, director of the associations's research and resource centre, said there was no evidence to back claims it would hurt Sydney's reputation as a global city.
"In terms of the violence issue this is a no-brainer. The evidence is so overwhelming that we can address that part of the problem almost immediately."
Mr Remfrey described as "nonsense" arguments from industry that reducing opening hours from 5am to 3.30am would hurt business.
"It's not a huge difference in trading hours but an almighty difference in the effect on the community," he said, adding it also meant kids went out earlier, reducing the amount of time they had to pre-load.
Mr Webber said the state needed to recognise that young people lacked fully developed cognitive abilities and step in to protect them, even from themselves.
"We don't want someone to come home in the back of a paddy waggon, or worse an ambulance."
He said police flatly rejected education campaigns, because "they don't work".
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