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LEGAL | Staff Reporter, Australia
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Gelato Messina fakes change in trading hours for April Fool's

For April Fool's Day, the dessert chain announced that it would be changing its trading hours to end at 7pm to comply with the local lock out laws.

Gelato Messina issued the following statement:

"Due to circumstances beyond our control, and for reasons associated with recent changes in the NSW State Government 'Lock Out Laws’, we regret to inform customers that our Darlinghurst and Surry Hills stores are now unable to trade past 7pm.

The current lock-out laws imposed on Sydney's licensed venues has resulted in a marked increase in foot traffic at both our Darlinghurst and Surry Hills stores, as consumers seek alternative late night entertainment venues outside of clubs/pubs.

An unforeseen consequence of this has been an increase in what police have described as 'frequent antisocial behaviour and overly loud, repetitive music in close proximity to Messina stores’. This increased foot traffic, combined with our existing store queues has made the situation untenable and we have been threatened with fines and potential legal action by council. We have attempted to engage in meaningful discussion with council, licensing police and all relevant stake holders but have failed to find common ground. As such, we are being forced to comply with new trading restrictions until further notice.

The trading hours for these stores will now be 11am - 7pm daily. Any delivery services will now also cease at this time.

*All other stores will continue to operate as normal, with The Star store being granted an exemption for late night trading inline with existing casino hours (what do you know?!)

** Melbourne stores are not affected

We will continue to fight these ludicrous restrictions and fight these laws which are killing the soul of our city and bring back our normal trading hours as soon as we can. Until then, enjoy some early evening, sensible time, gelato.

Join the campaign >> Show your support to #KEEPMESSINAOPEN

ABOUT THE LAWS

In February, 2014 the NSW State Government imposed a suite of restrictions on inner city venues including a 1.30am lockout. This has unfortunately had a severe knock on affect to a number of businesses in the Darlinghurst & Surry Hills areas. Including unlicensed venues such as ours.

Crucial live music venues in Sydney have closed, several hundreds of jobs have been lost, the magic around our city is fading & now we can’t even serve you gelato after dinner. All this for what statistics show has had a minor impact on violence. Something which has actually been in decline since small-bar licenses were granted in 2008. We understand that a sugar high can have a strong effect on kids, but we didn’t realise it would be the catalyst for keeping our kids indoors and off the streets! Absurd!

This is not about violence, this is about freedom and the right to serve gelato whenever we want! A basic civil right that is being undermined as we speak. We believe that our legislators have an obligation to preserve the rights of ordinary law-abiding citizens whilst also making a night out safer and enjoyable for all ages. Gelato never killed anyone! Well maybe it did, but having access to it didn’t.

We’ve worked hard at building our brand from the ground up and have often seen our product as an alternative to alcohol and drug consumption so why are we being forced to pay the price?! Something has to change!

#keepmessinaopen #prayformessina" 

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