Australian doctors attack Sam Neill over lockout laws

  • 17/08/2016
Actor Sam Neill (Supplied)
Actor Sam Neill (Supplied)

Doctors have hit out at actor Sam Neill for criticising Sydney's lockout laws, accusing the winemaker of having a "tantrum".

The president of the NSW arm of the Australian Medical Association says a wine producer lamenting the laws is like a tobacco industry throwing a tantrum over plain packaging.

Professor Brad Frankum says Sydney's lockout laws were introduced to stop violence resulting in severe injuries and death, and have been very successful in achieving this goal.

"So successful it seems that, like with vaccination, people are forgetting how bad things used to be very quickly," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

Mr Neill, who owns the Two Paddocks vineyard in Central Otago, New Zealand, on Monday labelled the lockout laws pointless, saying they had "sucked the life out of Sydney".

The Jurassic Park star and Logie award-winning actor made the comments at a Tropfest event in Parramatta.

"I'm grumpy because Sydney used to be such a vibrant and exciting place in the late '70s and early '80s," he said.

Prof Frankum isn't surprised by the Kiwi actor's attack but warns people not to look to celebrities for public health advice.

"They may be good actors or, in this case, wine producers but their skills are usually not geared towards making public health policy," he said.

"The lockout laws have been a great success for people's health and safety in Sydney."