LAKE Macquarie MP Greg Piper has called on the government to urgently convene a summit on drug and alcohol-fuelled violence, as the incidence of young people being seriously or fatally injured by cowardly punches from drunk and drug affected aggressors continues to rise.
‘‘The emergence of this ugly street-fighting culture has become a pressing social issue and there is consensus in our community that something needs to be done quickly to stem this senseless violence,’’ Mr Piper said on Monday.
‘‘The most sensible approach is to bring all stakeholders and interested parties to the table to discuss the options, so that state parliament can consider legislative, punitive and other responses with the benefit of those diverse and informed views.’’
Mr Piper said a summit should include representatives from government agencies, emergency services, medical and legal professions and the hotel industry, as well as other interested parties such as victims’ families and academic researchers.
‘‘As a society we need to discuss the issues around access to alcohol and whether restrictions like the ‘‘Newcastle solution’’ are worth implementing,’’ Mr Piper said.
‘‘It is important to hear from the people at the frontline of this crisis and take politics out of the issue. We need a considered response, not a knee-jerk reaction.’’
Alcohol-fuelled violence has marred holiday season with 18-year-old Daniel Christie and 19-year-old Alexander McEwen both hospitalised after alleged unprovoked one-punch attacks in Kings Cross and Penrith respectively.
Mr Christie, who was attacked on New Years Eve, remains in a coma.
In the Hunter, Marika Ninness, 35, died on December 21 after allegedly being felled by a single punch in an East Maitland car park two weeks earlier.
Kelsey Johnston, 23, was told by doctors he was lucky to be alive after suffering bleeding on the brain from an alleged single-punch attack outside the Prince of Wales Hotel at Merewether on December 22.