Live Music Venues In The Sydney CBD Have Just Been Ruled Exempt From The Lockout Laws

Mike Baird's bad week continues.

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The NSW Supreme Court has just removed live music venues and strip clubs in the Sydney CBD from the reach of state’s lockout laws, after finding that the Justice Department lacked the authority to declare the venues subject to the controversial legislation.

The court ruling comes after a legal challenge from owners of the Smoking Panda Bar at the Coronation Hotel, and marks the latest blow to the divisive laws which have devastated Sydney’s nightlife and proven a PR nightmare for Premier Mike Baird.

The Smoking Panda had initially been exempt from the law as a “tourism accommodation establishment”, until an investigation by Liquor and Gaming NSW found that non-hotel guests had been frequenting the bar.

In a landmark decision, Justice Natalie Adams found that “nothing in the correspondence indicates that there was any condition stipulated by either police or the OLGR [Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation] that the bar could only permissibly service residents of the hotel’s accommodation facilities.”

Justice Adams also stated that lockout legislation clauses were “not a proper exercise of the regulation-making power conferred upon the governor”.

As a result of the ruling, there are now eight venues in the Sydney CBD – including Smoking Panda, The Oxford Art Factor and strip clubs Pure Platinum and Men’s Gallery – that no longer need to adhere to the 1:30am lockout and 3am end-of-service restrictions that have turned the city’s once thriving nightlife into a shadow of its former self.

The killjoys in the state government are set to appeal the decision, with a spokesperson for Liquor and Gaming NSW stressing that “the lockout laws continue to apply to the vast majority of pubs, nightclubs and other high-risk venues in the CBD and Kings Cross.”

Guess we know where we’re drinking tonight, huh.

h/t The Daily Telegraph

Feature image via The Smoking Panda.