Australia

Sam Neill attacks greyhound ban and Sydney lockout laws

Mad Max director George Miller with Jurassic Park actor Sam Neill Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mad Max director George Miller with Jurassic Park actor Sam Neill in Sydney

Jurassic Park star Sam Neill says bar laws and a greyhound racing ban are "sucking the life" from Sydney.

Controversial laws require bars within parts of Australia's largest city to shut their doors to new patrons from 1:30am and stop serving drinks at 3am.

New South Wales state also banned greyhound racing after an inquiry found evidence of systematic animal cruelty.

The Hollywood actor said that many dogs were likely to be destroyed and racing jobs lost as a result of the ban.

"Shutting down the dogs is a crime, it's a valuable part of working class culture," he said.

Image copyright Pacific Press
Image caption Thousands of people protest against Sydney's lockout laws earlier this year

"Instead of cleaning up the dogs they're killing the dogs. How many thousands of dogs will be destroyed and livelihoods lost? It's regrettable and I'm grumpy about that."

Neill also lamented the effect of liquor laws, saying "the vibrancy has been sucked out of the place".

"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."

The New South Wales state government has defended the laws, saying they have curbed alcohol-related violence.

However, Neill described the city's most famous entertainment precinct as one of the saddest places he had ever been.

"Every city needs a Kings Cross. London needs a Soho and Sydney needs Kings Cross.

"Instead of making the streets safe they've stopped the streets."

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