City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has called on the NSW Government to wind back lockout laws for “well-managed” venues, in a bid to revitalise Sydney’s nightlife.
In a submission to a Liquor and Gaming NSW review of the state’s liquor regulations, Sydney of City has recommended that live music and performance venues, and other licensed venues that show good management, be exempt from the 1.30am lockout.
They have also recommended rewarding well-managed venues through discounted license fees, a removal of the blanket ban on new liquor licenses, overhauling the approvals system for licensed premises, and more late-night transport so people can get home safely.
“We are working with our community of passionate and creative people who run Sydney’s night-time businesses to create an environment where well-managed venues can thrive – but we need the State Government to get on board,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We all want a civilised, safe late-night economy with different options for people of all ages to go out and enjoy themselves after dark, but the lockouts were a sledgehammer blow when what we needed was a well-researched, evidence-based and flexible response using transport, planning, licensing and police.
“The lockouts came at the expense of Sydney’s global reputation, tourism and hospitality industry.
“We knew what the problem was – too many venues in one area, not enough public transport late at night, lifetime liquor licences that reduce accountability of venues, and a planning system that doesn’t recognise when an area has become saturated.
“Well-managed late-trading premises are essential to our city’s cultural life and economic growth, and people need to feel safe. We need to get both right – it’s not a question of one or the other.
“I am calling on the state government to use the liquor regulations to encourage live music and entertainment venues – which is already one of the objectives of the Liquor Act.”
More information about City of Sydney’s ‘Towards 2030’ strategy, which includes goals for the night-time economy, can be found here.