Lockout Committee needs your input

Stakeholders from across the liquor and hospitality industry, and those with an interest in a vibrant night-time economy for Sydney are encouraged to make sure they make a submission to the NSW Government’s Joint Select Committee for Sydney’s night time economy.

The Committee was established last month and is now receiving submissions, the deadline for lodging submissions to the Committee is Tuesday 2 July.

The Terms of Reference are that the Committee inquire and report into Sydney’s night time economy, including any measures required to:

  • maintain and enhance community safety;
  • maintain and enhance individual and community health outcomes;
  • ensure existing regulatory arrangements in relation to individuals, businesses and other stakeholders, including Sydney’s lockout laws, remain appropriately balanced;
  • enhance Sydney’s night time economy;
  • any other directly relevant matters.

Michael Rodrigues, Chair of the Night Time Industries Association, has urged all stakeholders to have their say, and said if you haven’t yet it’s not too late, but you must act soon. He also said that this is the time to make the Committee think about this being about more than just hospitality and it’s the opportunity to make a huge difference to Sydney’s night time economy and the city’s cultural influence.

“With support from the Committee for Sydney, we held a cross sector forum earlier this week attended by senior representatives from all the major industry bodies across our night time economy including AHA, Clubs NSW, Accommodation Association of Australia, Sydney Culture Network, Independent Bars Association, Live Music Office, as well as senior leaders within our own membership base,” Rodrigues told TheShout.

“A few things were clear.

“This is way beyond a hospitality sector issue. This is a $16bn annual problem that impacts business across arts, music, culture and entertainment. Businesses outside of hospitality will be vocal and active in seeking change.

“Secondly, we are in a very different Sydney now then we were when lockout was implemented. In 2014 we had venue concentration, lack of transport options and a few bad operators. Now, in contrast, venues have thinned out in the affected precincts, we have rideshare and  an improving rail network as well as an industry that has worked hard across the board to improve its service standards. Meanwhile alcohol consumption per capita has dropped, in line with broad cultural trends that are seeing a diversification away from hospitality only entertainment.

“The inquiry represents an opportunity for industry to inform our elected representatives of the true state of affairs across the night time economy. And I commend the Committee for walking the streets themselves in order to see for themselves the extent of the unintended consequences of the lockout regime on broader Sydney culture.”

Rodrigues also told TheShout that a number of stakeholders had approached the committee for, and been granted an extension to make their submission.

AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Policing John Green told TheShout:

“It is pleasing this Parliamentary Joint Select committee is focused on how to balance vibrancy and safety – something that can certainly co-exist.

“It’s important all who are actually part of the night-time economy have a say.

“The AHA will be making a detailed submission and we expect many of our members who are directly impacted by the lockouts to do so as well.”

The Committee will hold public hearings on 5 August and 12 August ahead of reporting to Parliament by 30 September 2019 and those interested in making a submission to the inquiry can find out more information on the Committee’s webpage.

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