Night Time Industries hail Sydney lockout removal a ‘turning point’
“Sydneysiders, alongside those who make our night-time great, are ready to see the first steps to a city revival,” Night Time Industries Association chair Michael Rodrigues says, less than 24 hours before Sydney’s lockouts are officially lifted.
Ahead of the big day (January 14) the NTIA is celebrating the end of a tough era for night trade in the Harbour City, hailing the work of “government, industry and the general public to get Sydney back on track.”
In November, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced Sydney’s CBD and Oxford Street would no longer be subject to the long-standing 1:30am lockout, but it will remain in Kings Cross.
The 3:30am ‘last drinks’ law will stay in place across the city, with exceptions for venues with records of good patron behaviour.
The NSW-wide ban on bottleshops trading past 10pm will be pushed back to midnight, except Sundays where it will be 11pm.
“It’s fantastic the city will entertain locals and visitors in a diverse and inclusive nightlife without being rushed around venues closing early. It’s the beginning of Sydney getting its mojo back,” said NTIA’s Rodrigues.
Rodrigues also highlighted the importance of getting the next few years right, to create regrow Sydney’s night-time economy in a positive and sustainable way.
“The lift demonstrates the Government recognises the value of the night-time economy and this is a first step to meaningful reform,” he said
“It’s crucial we come together and build a nightlife hand-in-hand with all the night time stakeholders to ensure it’s positive and sustainable. We need to channel the spirit of Sydney in the late ‘90s as we prepared to showcase ourselves to the world during the 2000 Olympics.
“That effort saw all stakeholders come together: industry, health, police and transport, collaborating to produce a great result. We’ll be working with our members and the rest of the night time ecosystem to make sure we use this opportunity to rebuild Sydney’s nightlife, the right way.”
In a statement today, the NTIA also highlighted the importance of moving Sydney’s nightlife away from being heavily alcohol-driven.
“What other great cities of the world have is a ‘going out’ ecosystem that enjoys multifaceted entertainment, without it being singularly focused around drinking,” added Rodrigues.
“Punters want choice. Licensed venues need to work out how they collaborate with the wider entertainment sector to provide a compelling reason for residents to come out and enjoy an evening filled with possibility.”
Oxford Art Factory
One of NTIA’s members the Oxford Art Factory has announced the launch of its first lockout free night of trade for Friday, January 17.
OAF founder and CEO is looking forward to things returning to how they were pre-lockouts. “The 14th of January is a day in history when we, as providers of all things music and culture, are able to come back to some semblance of how we used to operate successfully five years ago,” he said.
“The OAF welcomes the changes to the lockout laws and will work to make those changes both safe and coherent additions to our trading hours for all who come to us. Onwards and upwards Sydney!”
Aus Venu Co. – which runs Cargo, Bungalow 8 and The Loft on Kings Street Wharf – also welcomed the coming year of unincumbered trade.
“We are excited to lift the restriction and will be welcoming patrons into the venues until close,” said Paul Waterson, Aus Venue Co. CEO.
“These three iconic venues which have been popular with Sydneysiders for over 18 years will be celebrating this exciting start to 2020 with DJs and entertainment every weekend.”