The long-awaited report on on Sydney’s Night Time Economy has put forward several recommendations to change the current laws and bring some vibrancy back into late-night Sydney.
Chief among the recommendations from the NSW Government’s Joint Select Committee include appointing an overarching coordinator to bring together all relevant stakeholders to enhance Sydney’s night time economy. The report recommends this should be done by “a central agency of government under the direction of a minister”.
The Committee has also recommended changes to a number of measures which were introduced in Sydney in 2014 including removing the 1.30am lockout and the 3.00am cessation of service. It also calls for the removal of prohibition on service of certain drinks after midnight and restriction of glass in the late trading period.
These changes are recommended for the Sydney CBD area while the laws should remain in place in Kings Cross, with both aspects being subject to a review in 12 months.
The report recommends that the trading hours for the sale of takeaway alcohol be extended to midnight Monday through to Saturday, and 11pm on Sunday.
“The Committee found that increasing the diversity of activities, particularly those not centred around alcohol, can encourage a variety of people to engage with Sydney after dark. In turn, this will support a safe and exciting city,” the report stated.
“Measures discussed in the report to promote diversity include: supporting our cultural institutions to provide more late night offerings; encouraging more venues for music and creative events; innovative ways to use vacant and occupied spaces; making small bars a more attractive licensed venue business model.
“The Committee recommends easing the regulatory burden in the Sydney CBD to further support and enhance the night-time economy.”
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore welcomed the recommendations.
“This is an excellent result and an exciting moment for Sydney’s nightlife,” she said.
“Repealing lockouts in the CBD and Oxford Street is an important first step that will breathe oxygen into Sydney’s nightlife.
“I am proud to have stood with the musicians, artists, hospitality workers and business owners most affected by the lockouts, and the many thousands of Sydneysiders who want to keep Sydney open – the news that lockouts will soon be a thing of the past is music to our ears.
“Close collaboration between the State Government, the City and everyone involved in our night time economy should be an integral part of fixing the damage done by the lockouts and rebuilding a nightlife that is both exciting and safe.”
The Australian Hotels Association NSW also welcomed the news.
“Today’s report contains a range of common-sense recommendations which is reflective of extensive consultation by the Committee – which its members should be acknowledged for,” said Director of Liquor and Policing John Green.