By Andy Young
Once again thousands of people have marched through Sydney protesting against the NSW state government’s controversial lockout laws.
The Keep Sydney Open rally received widespread support including from Australian music star Jimmy Barnes, who highlighted that his career started by playing in live venues across Sydney.
Organisers put the number of marchers at around 7000 people.
Keep Sydney Open’s Tyson Koh said the rally showed that there is a strong movement behind making Sydney “a better city for everyone” adding that the group was keen to work with the government to improve the city’s living standard.
“It has never been clearer that the lockouts are the wrong answer to the question of how to create a safe, fun and vibrant city,” Koh said. “Keep Sydney Open will march in the streets to call on the state government to let Sydney have the same, world-class late-night culture we all know this city is capable of having.”
The Keep Sydney Open rally started in Belmore Park in the CBD before heading to Taylor Square to hear speeches and for a large street party with a number of DJ’s playing tunes.
As well as Barnes the movement was also supported by Hayley Mary of The Jezabels, hip-hop artist Urthboy and Sydney councillor Jess Scully.
The rally saw a video from Barnes in which he said: “I made a career playing in live venues in Sydney. I learnt my craft playing in those venues.
“The lockout laws aren’t working. We’ve got to help keep music alive and keep Sydney alive. Let’s find a better way to do it.”
The amendments to the NSW Liquor Act which were introduced in 2014 require central Sydney venues to close their doors to patrons at 1.30am, stop serving drinks at 3am and bans the sale of takeaway alcohol after 10pm across the state.