In case you missed the big news over the weekend, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that Sydney’s controversial lockout laws could be scrapped. Finally, after five fucking years.
The decision came after a cross-parliamentary committee reviewed the laws earlier in the year, which included open submissions from the public. Berejiklian decided it was time to boost Sydney’s nightlife economy.
The lift on the lockout laws will apply to the CBD only, leaving Kings Cross still under the law. Kings Cross, once the heart of Sydney’s nightlife, has lost iconic venues including World Bar, Hugo’s and Flinders Hotel.
Since 2014, Sydney-siders and visitors alike would be locked out of venues past 1:30 am, with last calls for drinks going at 3 am in the CBD. As a result, Sydney turned into a ‘ghost town‘ after dark. Between 2014 to 2018, there was a decrease of 2.5 million young tourists to Sydney. They probably just went to Melbourne instead…
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Over the weekend some of our central coast organisers teamed up with local music fans to fight the festival crackdown. The coast isn’t happy with Gladys’ war on music and we’ll be showing the Liberals that on Election Day. . . The protest attracted local radio and is only the beginning of action all over NSW to fight this government. . #keepsydneyopen #saveourfestivals #coast #terrigal #gosford #centralcoast #NSW #voteoutthelockout #musicfestival #centralcoastnsw
In a statement to AAP, Berejiklian said “It’s time to enhance Sydney’s night-life. Sydney is Australia’s global city and we need our night-life to reflect that.”
The news was celebrated by Keep Sydney Open, the grassroots advocacy group turned political party. The group’s director, Tyson Koh, spoke to 10 daily on welcoming the change, and the effect it may have on Sydney as a city.
The lockout laws are being lifted in the Sydney CBD, with Kings Cross unchanged. The news is light on details but it’s a huge moment! Thanks for your support over — it’s time to restore some confidence in Sydney as a nighttime city!
— Keep Sydney Open (@KeepSydneyOpen) September 8, 2019
“It will be a process. The laws took a while to have their devastating effect, and in reverse, the removal will take some time to have an effect…
It will be the changes to people’s behaviour. People often don’t come into the city anymore, so it will take a while for people to rewire habits, and some time for business owners to invest in the night time sector again as well…
We can’t return to those pre-lockout days, so the future of Sydney will be something new. It will look different, but potentially better.”
The NSW government will make its final verdict by late September. Hopefully, we’ll be able to celebrate with a drink.
Featured image via Instagram @scottie.marsh.