Sydney’s lockout laws in firing line as trading hours loosened for select venues
Last Thursday as Robert Borsak of the Shooters, Farmers and Fishers Party was introducing a bill in the NSW Legislative Council to scrap Sydney lockouts, four more venues had their trading hours loosened by Liquor, Gaming & Racing (LGR) NSW.
The four are: Three Wise Monkeys on George street, Slide Lounge, Oxford Hotel and Palms on Oxford.
The LGR said, “The venues provide a diverse range of live entertainment including rock and pop bands, acoustic performers and established and up-and-coming DJs.
“The extended trading times are helping to boost Sydney’s nightlife and give musicians and other entertainers more opportunities to perform.”
It brings the number of venues that can admit patrons until 2am and serve drinks until 3.30am to 34.
Meanwhile, the Shooters, Farmers and Fishers Party has thrown a challenge to the state government to support its bill.
Speaking outside Parliament at the Keep Sydney Open rally, Borsak said:
“The reason we’ve done it now is that (NSW deputy premier) John Barilaro was playing politics with it in the last month or so, voicing his concern that the lockouts were still in place, and he was going to run a bill and then didn’t do it.
“So we thought, OK Mr Barilaro we’ll make you put up or shut up. You’ll either support our bill or you won’t.”
Borsak said Barilaro has two weeks before parliament returns, to convince his Liberal colleagues to support the bill.
“Since the restrictions were brought-in, foot traffic fell by 84% in Kings Cross and 176 licensed premises closed,” he stated.
“My bill will come up for debate on November 15, so we have several weeks to pressure the Government to back it.”
Keep Sydney Open (KSO) commented “That there is now a bill in parliament to repeal the lockouts is a cause for celebration” but urged its supporters, “Now is not the time for complacency.”
KSO accused the state government of “special deals and cronyism” and “happy to kill off parts of the city as long as its pockets are lined with money from developers and casinos.”
It said that more work was needed after the lockouts went.
“The lockouts bill removes just one of the dozens that continue to stifle vibrancy, culture and livelihoods.
“Repealing the curfew without replacing it with a coherent nightlife management strategy is lazy, reckless and won’t be the silver bullet Sydney needs to fix the nighttime rot.
“Better transport, policing, licensing and a more diverse nightlife encouraging retail, dining and the arts will get us back to the standard of other major cities.
“This is just the beginning.”