In a recent editorial, The Age editors argue for a need to investigate Melbourne's nightlife culture and its increasinly violent nature. The article cites recent freedom of information statistics showing a doubling of crimes against individuals throughout 12 Victorian outer-suburban and regional municipalities, and attempts to link this to alcohol-related violence within the CBD.
Apart for this seemingly dubious usage of statistics, the article brings up some very interesting information; the Australian Hotels Association (the nightlife industry's lobby group) has called for a freeze on all new bars and nightclubs in Melbourne's centre; and a senior policeman refers to the CBD's party precincts as "alcohol-fuelled bedlam".
The editorial also cites a 594% increase in liquor licences across the state in the past two decades. Have the reforms started in 1988 fueled a binge drinking culture or have they promoted a more European, civilised style of drinking? With recent news of Sydney trying to imitate Melbourne's liquor licensing laws surely things aren't as bad as The Age suggests?