The Brag Media
News June 5, 2018

Keep Sydney Open to contest NSW elections: “We want to be proud of Sydney again”

Keep Sydney Open to contest NSW elections: “We want to be proud of Sydney again”

After broaching the subject with its supporters eight months ago, Keep Sydney Open has thrown its hat in the ring.

This morning the organisation announced it is registering as a state political party in NSW.

It will contest seats in both houses of Parliament at the 2019 NSW state election, with a focus on seats in the Legislative Council or ‘upper house’.

“This is bigger than a rally — way bigger,” said spokesperson Tyson Koh.

“By putting lockout laws on the ballot of next year’s election, people now have a real choice and a course of action to rescind these laws, wind back the ‘nanny state’ and build a 24-hour city.”

Koh added, “For more than over four years, our group has represented every person who believes that lockout laws were a knee-jerk reaction.

“We see with our own eyes that these laws have devastated both the nighttime economy and reputation of what was once a vibrant international city.”

According to KSO, its campaign has so far achieved:

  • A 30-minute relaxation of lockout laws and cease of service times for music venues.
  • A pushback of bottle shop closing times from 10pm to 11pm across NSW.
  • A lifting of lockout laws for the Mardi Gras parade.
  • Changes to ‘small bar’ regulations.
  • Turned the state of Sydney’s nightlife into a mainstream issue.

“We all know that Sydney is a magical place, but the magic has been missing for some time,” Koh said.

“People now recognise that the NSW Government is largely responsible for this.

“What many don’t realise, however, is that Keep Sydney Open’s supporters were never concerned with lockouts alone.

“Instead, we’ve come together with a common desire to make this the best city it can be.

“We know that it’s not about what time we can enter a venue, it’s about asking: ‘What city do we want?’

“We are the first party in NSW set up to address cultural and youth issues.

“Young people all over NSW who would ordinarily vote Liberal or Labor are looking at those parties’ policies with bewilderment. We feel cheated, and being locked out of social spaces as well as the housing market has led to a generation of disillusioned young adults.

“We’ve spent over a century organically cultivating social precincts without government interference. The people of Sydney deeply resent their playground being destroyed. We don’t want to be known as a ‘casino city’, and want to address the corrupt governance that’s destroying Sydney.

“We know that a confident and diverse nightlife is safer and more welcoming.

“We advocate for a suite of interventions across transport, law enforcement, public health, creative industries, licensing and planning. An approach that respects data, expertise, genuine consultation, transparency and good governance will have a great impact on the daytime economy too.

“In short, we want to be proud of Sydney again.”

Whether Keep Sydney Open should continue to remain focused on community events than become involved in the hard world of politics remains to be seen.

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