Justin Hemmes has applauded the NSW Government for creating the Lockout Inquiry, saying it is “an unprecedented opportunity” for the community and government to reinvigorate Sydney’s night time economy.
“The people of Sydney and NSW have the opportunity to create a vibrant future for our city with a safe, fun and diverse culture that reflects the 24-hour energy of global cities such as Tokyo, London and New York,” he said in his submission to the inquiry.
“The key to this revitalisation is allowing businesses, and especially hospitality venues, to trade 24 hours a day, thereby unleashing our city’s full potential for economic prosperity.”
Hemmes says the lock-out laws may have restored order but have also resulted in a CBD where it is difficult to find a venue to simply have a coffee or enjoy a meal after 10pm.
“As a large hospitality owner, operator and employer in the CBD, we have seen first-hand over the past five years that mindless anti-social behaviour has been dealt with swiftly by police and punishments handed out to the offending individuals,” he said.
His solution to reinvigorate Sydney’s night time economy is to appoint a Night Time Mayor, who would act as a conduit between the regulatory bodies and night life businesses.
“A leader must be appointed whose mandate is to provide a cohesive representation of all stakeholder bodies, including police, licensing, business groups, local government,” he said.
“Let’s put this wonderful city back on the tourism map and let’s build a 24 hour city that we can all be proud of.”