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Sydney’s Lockout Laws Will be Partially Scrapped in January


The NSW government has announced plans to scrap Sydney's lockout laws from 14 January.

The legislation, which was introduced in 2014 by then-premier Mike Baird in a bid to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence after the one-punch deaths of Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie, will now be withdrawn.

The legislation was introduced in 2014 in a bid to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence after the one-punch deaths of Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie.

“Following a detailed review of the Joint Select Committee’s recommendations, we will implement changes over summer to ensure Sydney has a thriving, safe and diverse night life that can be enjoyed by all.

“While the extended trading hours will provide a boost for the night-time economy, community safety will always be a focus.”

The premier will move to lift the 1.30am lockouts in the CBD entertainment district but the law will remain in place for Kings Cross.

▲ The laws were introduced in 2014 by Barry O’Farrell and while he was not the instigator, predecessor Mike Baird was widely accused of killing Sydney’s nightlife. Image: Scott Marsh
▲ The laws were introduced in 2014 by Barry O’Farrell and while he was not the instigator, predecessor Mike Baird was widely accused of killing Sydney’s nightlife. Image: Scott Marsh


A parliamentary report by the Joint Select Committee released in September advised the coalition government to lift the laws in the CBD, saying they cost the state $16 billion a year.

The report, found that Kings Cross had “not yet sufficiently changed” to warrant the removal of lockout laws, with the issue to be revisited in 12-months time.

The committee suggested more work was required in Kings Cross to ensure safety, with the district requiring a “specific, nuanced approach”.

“Kings Cross will be left to struggle on under the curfew, and maintaining the bizarre cease of service time of 3:30am simply means that Melbourne will continue to streak ahead as a truly 24-hour city,” Keep Sydney Open campaign director Tyson Koh told The Urban Developer.

“Planning laws put long-standing venues at the mercy of new residential developments, so work needs to be done there.

“The government must also reassess police strategies such as the sniffer dog and strip search program that deters punters from attending venues and festivals.”

Sydney’s night-time economy, critical to the city, employs more than 35,000 people. In the five year since the laws were enacted Sydney’s live music and arts industry has seen more than 170 venues close.


Changes: 14 January 2020

• Remove 1.30am last entry for all venues in the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct, including those on Oxford Street
• Remove restrictions on serving cocktails, shots and drinks in glass after midnight in this precinct
• Extend ‘last drinks’ at venues with good records in this precinct by 30 minutes
• Extend bottle shop opening hours across NSW until midnight from Monday to Saturday, with 11pm closing on Sunday.
• Increase small bar patron capacity from 100 to 120 across NSW


Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said an enhanced night time economy would provide a huge boost for tourism, providing another incentive for people to visit Sydney.

“It’s time to embrace a 24 hour economy that creates jobs, fosters arts, culture, live performance and safety on our streets. You don’t have to trade safety for liveability but we all need to take responsibility for making Sydney the best it can be.”

“Sydney is Australia’s number one tourism destination, with the world’s most iconic harbour, scenic beaches, world-class transport, and a vibrant arts and culture scene.”

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Article originally posted at: https://theurbandeveloper.com/articles/sydneys-lockout-is-over