News February 15, 2019

Night-time industries offers NSW government Five Point Plan: “We need gusto and bold action!”

Managing Editor
Night-time industries offers NSW government Five Point Plan: “We need gusto and bold action!”

Appoint a minister for the nighttime economy before the March 23 state election, remove the 1:30am lockout laws, scrap the liquor freeze and set up a one-stop noise shop policy and create a planning task force.

These were some of the recommendations in the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA)’s Five Point Plan after a public forum held at the Lansdowne Hotel in Sydney this week.

It was convened by NTIA and attended by MPs, City of Sydney councillors, and figures from the live music and hospitality sectors.

“Right now, we don’t have a clear vision,” NTIA chair Michael Rodrigues stated.

“We need gusto and bold action from inside the government.

“Unless we have a Minister who takes responsibility for the night-time economy, we won’t see the follow-through that’s required to change the dire situation Sydney has found itself in as a cosmopolitan, global city past 8pm.”

“We want to cut the red tape that’s been suffocating our city and build a new wave of energy, innovation, and creativity.

“The night is an asset, and it’s being wasted.

“Let’s unite for the night, rebalance the regulation, and build a new narrative based on the positive outcomes that come from a dynamic   a vibrant city that inspires its people and is powered by creativity.”

The meeting took up the Deloitte Imagine Sydney | Play report that TMN related yesterday, which estimated that while the Sydney night-time economy is worth $27 billion, it has a shortfall of $16 billion a year when compared to some other global cities.


Greater support from the government for the night-time economy is needed, specifically by creating a minister for the night time economy, and a night-time commissioner to work with industry and stakeholders in the Department of Premier & Cabinet.

At the moment, the government response is” disjointed and fragmented” because responsibility for night-time is split across various ministers.


This includes the streamlining of the liquor licensing regulations. Specifically:

● Removal of the entertainment consent provisions of the Liquor Act (as conferred under section 11)

● Removal of the 1:30am ‘lockout laws’

● Removal of the liquor freeze


Complaints about noise is a burden for venues, worsened by the fact that these complains can be made to a wide range of organisations.

These include local council, police, the EPA, licensing agencies and even Roads and Maritime Services.

Therefore it needs to be better managed, through the creation of a one-stop shop to deal with noise complaints and streamline laws governing these and putting in place guidelines for venue operators.


NSW Planning laws are currently hard to navigate, and applying for a Development application is expensive and time-consuming.

It often involves repetition of the same processes undertaken through liquor and other licensing obligations.


● Create a planning task force to review NSW Planning laws with input from NSW creative community, planning experts and venue operators and local government.

● Single planning instrument for new venues, combining council consent process with liquor consent.


Sydney could learn from Melbourne, Singapore and Detroit in the way they’ve adapted to the fourth industrial revolution and become centres for creativity as they strive to create new economies.

Establish a $200 million Create NSW fund to drive the economic potential of the creative economy.

● Supporting artists, production companies, community organisations and commercial operators.

● Leverage private sector investment to create jobs and opportunities for the NSW creative arts sector.

● Invest in cultural infrastructure

The Night Time Industries Association consists of: hospitality (bars, pubs, clubs, restaurant); entertainment venues; festivals; retail operators; arts and culture organisations; precincts; and other commercial businesses with an interest in the night-time economy.

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