The NSW Government will enhance Sydney’s night-time economy with extended trading hours for venues and bottle shops, a relaxation of after-midnight drink rules and other changes to be introduced from January.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the initiatives introduced five years ago had undoubtedly made Sydney safer, but now was the right time for change in the CBD, particularly with light rail services commencing soon.
“Sydney has transformed dramatically over recent years, and we need to ensure we have a strong and vibrant night-time economy that reflects our position as Australia’s only truly global city,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“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.”
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the changes would stimulate the economy and attract more businesses into the CBD.
“We are working to ensure the NSW economy grows and provides an improved standard of living for our citizens and a big part of this is stimulating growth in the night-time economy,” Mr Perrottet said. “The NSW Government’s changes will help drive investment, grow jobs and attract more businesses to the CBD.” 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,” Mr Ayres said. “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.”
The following changes will occur from 14 January 2020:
- Remove 1.30am last entry for all venues in the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct, including those on Oxford Street (see map).
- 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.
Consistent with the Joint Select Committee’s recommendations, existing arrangements will be maintained in the Kings Cross precinct.
The Joint Select Committee consisted of members from all sides of politics working in consultation with police and health authorities, and taking feedback from community, and entertainment and live music stakeholders to develop the recommendations.
The lockout laws were introduced by the NSW Government in 2014 following a number of alcohol-fuelled violent deaths and attacks in Sydney.
The Government will monitor the impact of these changes and conduct a review after 12 months. Minister Ayres will be responsible for the implementation and review of the NSW Government response. To view the Government’s full response to the Committee’s recommendations, visit this link.