The City of Sydney has unanimously endorsed a plan to extend 24-hour trading across the inner city, in a bid to reclaim its status as a global city.
New late-night planning controls, proposed in November, will encourage 24-hour trading in inner city neighbourhoods and allow businesses and low-impact food and drink venues to trade up to 2am in local centres.
The 24-hour hubs will be created at Barangaroo, Green Square and Waterloo. Small bars and restaurants in inner city Surry Hills, Pyrmont and Redfern will have trading hours extended to 2am.
The changes will remain subject to the NSW government’s lockout laws.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the proposal would revitalise Sydney’s nightlife and unlock unused spaces for cultural activity.
“The city’s night-time economy is an integral part of its commercial, cultural and social fabric,” the proposal said.
“Late night trading premises are an important part of Sydney social and cultural life and plays an important role in contributing to the city’s economic growth and standing as a global city.”
Sydney’s night-time economy is critical to the city, employing more than 35,000 people and worth more than $4 billion to New South Wales annually.
More than 170 venues across Sydney have closed since the lockout laws were introduced by the Liberal-National coalition in 2014, an inquiry into the live music and arts industry found.
The chair of the inquiry, Paul Green, said that the contemporary music ecosystem in the state was “slowly disintegrating”.
“There is significant economic benefit in the performance of live music. New South Wales has the largest share of Australia’s contemporary music activity.”
The inquiry recommended that the premier appoint a Minister for Music, the Arts and Culture, simplify the regulatory system and remove outdated liquor licensing conditions that prohibit live entertainment.
The City of Sydney approved the Draft Sydney Development Control Plan — Late Night Trading on Monday night.
Businesses will soon be able to apply for new trading hours through a development application process.