Bill to scrap lockouts to be introduced

The fight to end Sydney’s lockout laws will take another step tomorrow when a Bill to scrap the 1.30am lockouts is introduced into the NSW Parliament by Robert Borsak of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (SFF).

Tomorrow will also see another Keep Sydney Open rally take place in the morning before the Bill is read in Parliament. The rally will meet at Martin Place on Macquarie Street, with the exact time to be detailed on the Keep Sydney Open Facebook page as soon as a read time for the Bill is known.

Speaking about his Bill, Borsak said: “The rules banning patrons entering or re-entering venues after 1.30am in the CBD and Kings Cross are killing the city.

“No other international city of similar standing to Sydney has such a law, striking at the heart of its nightlife. I’ve lost count of the number of small business owners, residents, and young people who have contacted my office to register their anger at this situation.

“It is time that the Liberal Party and the National Party stopped interfering in people’s lives under false pretences. If they were fair dinkum, the original laws would not have exempted The Star Sydney from the lock-outs.

“In the last month, National Party Leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro called for the lock-outs to be repealed. Since Barilaro has no pulling-power in Cabinet to get this off the ground, I’m doing it for him.

“Every single Member of Parliament will have the chance to have their say on these lock-out laws and it will be up to them to explain their position to their constituents and Sydney’s small business owners.

“The Deputy Premier has two options: put up, or shut up. He can either support my Bill, or stop paying lip-service to proposals he has no intention of really supporting.

“It wasn’t enough for the Liberal Party and the National Party to grind Sydney to a halt with light rail that nobody wants and that goes to nowhere: they had to kill the nightlife in our city as well. They seem to want all Sydneysiders tucked-in bed early, or to travel to Melbourne to have a good time. Sydney deserves better.”

Chair of the newly-formed Night Time Industries Association, Michael Rodrigues, told TheShout that the Government needs to do more to revive Sydney’s flagging night time economy.

“The Bill reflects the fact that the lock-out laws continue to have a detrimental impact on Sydney’s reputation, competitiveness and vibrancy and that their long-term sustainability is not viable,” Rodrigues said.

“But government needs to look above and beyond the laws to devise and develop a vision for Sydney’s night time economy, in partnership with the business sector and local communities. The whole state will benefit from Sydney having a safe, diverse and vibrant night time offer. This must involve a better long term solution to planning the night time economy in the lock out area.”

There are four main outcomes for the Bill to be read tomorrow, which include Parliament voting to either defeat or support the legislation, an amended form of the legislation is approved, or the vote is deferred to committee.

While there is strong support for ending the lockouts, it is also expected that the law enforcement and health lobbies will ramp up their efforts to keep the laws in place.

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