Sydney’s lockout laws have been accused of causing the demise of Sydney’s once-vibrant nightlife, but there’s a new review set to consider whether the laws should be relaxed.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the cross-party parliamentary committee review today after the number of assaults in the Kings Cross and CBD areas fell.
“During this period, we have also worked to relax certain aspects of the laws such as extending trading hours for bars and clubs for major events, and making it easier for small bars, restaurants and cafes to start up and operate," Berejiklian said.
"After five years of operation, it makes sense for us to now take stock and examine whether any further changes should be made.”
Berejiklian said the committee will consult with entertainment and music groups, NSW Police and health and community groups and consider whether certain laws could be relaxed to boost the night economy, but without affecting public safety.
The committee will report by the end of September.
It comes just weeks after Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City of Sydney was considering introducing 24-hour trading across the city centre.
Moore said this potential plan was the result of feedback from Sydney residents calling for a more vibrant city.
"More than 10,000 people told us they want Sydney to have a diverse and exciting night-time economy with events and activities for people of all ages and interests," Moore said in a statement.
"What they don't want is a city that is unsafe or that shuts down as soon as the sun goes down."
Changes to Sydney trading laws could encroach on the NSW government’s lockout laws.
The lockout laws were introduced following a series of fatal attacks on revellers in then-nightlife hub, Kings Cross.
They have since been attributed to a $16.1 billion loss to Sydney’s night time economy.
The report by Deloitte Access Economy found Sydney’s night time economy could have been worth $43.3 billion, but is currently worth $27 billion.
“Planning and licensing that encourages initiatives like late night gallery and museum hours, live music or comedy and smaller bars with a different culture to one solely focused on drinking is important,” the researchers said.
“Sydney can’t compete for talent on the world stage without fantastic after-dark fun and 24-hour amenities.”
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