Feature: Sydney braces for more alcoholfuelled violence during Christmas


By Christian Edwards
SYDNEY, Dec. 11 — Sydney’s reputation as a party town is in plain sight over Christmas as the silly season hits full- swing, however the violence that goes with it is in the spotlight again with police seeking to get the message out this week that Sydney has a problem.
The family of a Sydney nightclub doorman, who almost died in an alleged king-hit attack three months ago, joined senior police Wednesday to plead for a peaceful Christmas without alcohol- related violence.
43-year-old Fady Taiba was working on the door of a George Street bar around 10 pm on September 6 when he was allegedly attacked and knocked to the ground.
Taiba, known as Freddie, fell backwards and struck his head on a tile floor. The father of four remained in a coma, close to death, for 21 days.
76 percent of people believe Australia’s problem with alcohol- related violence will worsen over the next five years, according to a July survey conducted by Australia’s leading public health groups.
The NSW Alcohol Policy Alliance, which includes the Australian Medical Association, Police Association, and Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, is demanding that the state government conduct an independent review of the Liquor Act.
The alliance accused the state government of stalling a mandatory five-year review of the liquor law they say fails to protect the public from alcohol and the violence it engenders.
Australian Medical Association (AMA) president Brian Owler told reporters that Sydney hospitals were being swamped by alcohol- related injuries that should have been entirely preventable.
The state recorded 59,950 alcohol-related hospitalizations last year, including 14,518 alcohol-related assaults and 10,079 alcohol- related domestic assaults.
Taiba’s 17-year-old son, Adam, has since made it his mission to spread the message about alcohol-related crime.
With Christmas approaching and Sydney again preparing for a summer of alcohol fuelled violence Mr Taiba and his mother, Danielle, joined Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and other senior officers to launch the 2013 phase of Operation Unite, the annual Australasia-wide police crackdown on alcohol-related crime and anti-social behavior.
“Not a day goes by without us thinking about dad and what happened to him,” Adam Taiba said.
“Thankfully, he eventually pulled through but neither his life nor ours will ever be the same,” he added.
“Dad worked to help people. He worked during the day as a training officer for the Sydney Northern Area Health Service and had the security job at night to ensure his four kids had a decent education.”
Adam Taiba has already begun spreading his message about the dangers of alcohol, particularly to his fellow teens. “It’s crazy when you think of all the damage alcohol-related crime causes out there,” Adam said, “..And for what purpose?” “It’s pointless and it has to stop.”
Fadi Taiba’s wife, Danielle, also appealed for common sense over the festive season.
“There have been plenty of horrendous examples of alcohol- related attacks in recent times…when are people going to stop hurting each other, for no other reason than they’re drunk?” Mrs Taiba said.
“Please, heed these warnings now before you go write yourself off and get yourself or somebody else seriously hurt or killed.”
A 32-year-old Middle Cove man has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to the Taiba attack.
A Galaxy survey conducted earlier this year of 1,500 people found 80 percent felt Australia had a problem with alcohol, and 77 percent thought more needed to be done about alcohol-related violence.[db:内容2]