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News February 9, 2021

Nightlife advocates welcome end of lockout: ‘This is a huge win’

Senior Journalist, B2B
Nightlife advocates welcome end of lockout: ‘This is a huge win’

From next month, Sydney’s lockout laws will be binned for good. And the champagne corks are already flying. 

On Tuesday, state premier Gladys Berejiklian announced her government would wind-back the last remaining batch of late night regulations, which had remained in place for Kings Cross.

Under the relaxed new rules set to come into effect from March 8, pubs, bars and clubs will be able to accept guests from 1.30 am.

Also scrapped are restrictions on shots, cocktails and drinking from glasses, and the “last drinks” rule be pushed back to 3:30am.

Night life advocates are celebrating the government’s u-turn.

“This is great news for Sydney, and the Kings Cross we deserve,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore declared on social media.

Moore declared the development a “huge win for Sydney’s nightlife – a win for musicians, artists, hospitality workers, business owners and many thousands who campaigned to keep Sydney open.”

Jess Scully, Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney, declared the development “wonderful news” and “a real reason to celebrate”.

She added, “We will always miss those 100+ venues lost due to the lockout laws, but I hope Sydney can build back with the lockouts finally gone.”

Greens MP Alex Greenwich, who like Moore and Scully, has campaigned against the controversial lockout rules, chimed in: “Global cities don’t tell people when to go to bed, they help them have a fun and safe night with a diverse nighttime economy and transport options to get them home. Well done to the NSW Govt.”

A statement from Keep Sydney Open reads, “They said it wouldn’t be done, but Kings Cross has finally had the lockout laws lifted. Now we look towards Sydney’s economic recovery from COVID.”

The lockouts repeal is years is the making. More than six, to be precise.

Inner city Sydney went into lockout mode in 2014, a state government reaction to alcohol-fueled violence.

Later, after lobbying from Keep Sydney Open, the Night Time Industries Association, and others, and almost 800 submissions delivered to the NSW Government’s Sydney’s Night Time Economy inquiry, Berejiklian scaled-back the laws in 2019.

The rules, however, still applied to Kings Cross.

From March 8, they be a footnote in the history books.

“Kings Cross has transformed considerably since these laws were introduced over six years ago,” Berejiklian said.

“The precinct is now well positioned to continue to evolve into a vibrant lifestyle and cultural destination with a diverse mix of small bars, live music venues and restaurants.”

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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