Report: Sydney’s night-life is losing $16bn a year
A report from Deloitte Access Economics estimates Greater Sydney’s night-time economy (NTE) is worth almost $27.2 billion.
But restrictive and out-dated thinking is causing an annual loss of $16 billion.
Currently the biggest NTE spend is from the food sector, which generates $15.7 billion and supports 152,000 jobs.
Second is entertainment, with $7.1 billion and 49,000 employees.
The drinks sector provides $4.4 billion and almost 33,000 jobs.
Sydney accounts for 22% of national NTE and makes up 67% of NSW’s total employment.
But when compared to other cities, it is under-performing.
The report states: “In the UK, the NTE compromises six per cent of the nation’s economy, while in Australia it makes up only 3.8 per cent.
“If the NTE in Australia was supported and nurtured, so that it matched the UK NTE, the estimated value of the NTE in Greater Sydney could be $43.3 billion.”
Only 23% of spending in Sydney happens after 6pm – compared to, say, 36% in Berlin.
Most of the spend is on groceries, not arts and culture or hospitality.
“If we could shift the planning for Sydney’s NTE from a reactive, restrictive one, to a strategic, planned and open process, the opportunities to be gained are significant,” the report urges.
It notes that many councils are already looking at front-foot strategies which look past NTE as just drinking and lockouts.
“Moving the discussion away from regulating a drinking culture, towards a consideration of how we can use the NTE to create a strong social environment and urban culture will be crucial.
“Planning and licensing that encourages initiatives like late night gallery and museum hours, live music or comedy and smaller bars with a different culture to one solely focused on drinking is important.”
These include everything from 24-hour gyms to longer shopping hours to a wider range of transport options.
Of those employed in Sydney’s arts and cultural sector, 36% are from media production and broadcasting while music, performing and visual arts make up 20%.
The sector represents 2.24% of the national employment, compared to Melbourne, which is 1.75%.
The economic value of visitors to NSW’s arts and cultural venues and events is $1.4 billion a year, with a gross impact of $484 million a year to the state.