POLITICS

'March Against Mike' Protesters Hit Sydney CBD

The anti-Baird rally filled the city and ended at NSW Parliament House.

29/05/2016 1:32 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:53 PM AEST
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The broad anti-Baird coalition has named the protest action the "March Against Mike".

Thousands rallied in the centre of Sydney in opposition to NSW Premier Mike Baird's controversial lockout laws and urban development policies.

The march through the CBD targeted the government's controversial council amalgamations program, light rail development, and nightspot lockouts.

The broad anti-Baird coalition named the protest action the "March Against Mike". It kicked off at Sydney Town Hall on Sunday afternoon and made its way to NSW Parliament. Estimates of attendees ranged from 3000 to up to 5000.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge and former Leichhardt mayor Darcy Byrne -- whose position was abolished following the controversial amalgamation of several inner-city councils -- spoke at the rally along with a number of community groups, including anti-CSG campaigners, unions and those opposed to council amalgamation.

One of the ongoing debates in Sydney is the effectiveness of the lockout laws, which were introduced by former premier Barry O'Farrell. The tough rules bar new arrivals from entering licensed premises after 1.30am and mandate last drinks at 3am in Sydney's CBD and Kings Cross. They were enacted as a response to the one-punch deaths of Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie.

However, the government has been criticised for not including The Star Casino at Darling Harbour and the Barangaroo development, which will soon feature a second casino, in the lockout zones.

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