Music

The NSW Government Are Set To Lift The Controversial Lockout Laws In Sydney

"It’s time to enhance Sydney’s nightlife."

Lockout Laws

The NSW Liberal Government, under Premier Gladys Berejiklian, will lift Sydney’s controversial lockout laws later this year, as The Sunday Telegraph reports. But restrictions on Kings Cross will remain in place.

The lockout laws were introduced in 2014 as a way to shut down alcohol-fuelled violence, following the ‘coward punch’ deaths of two young men in Kings Cross. The measure includes 1.30am lockouts from venues in the CBD, from Kings Cross to Haymarket to Surry Hills, and last drinks served at 3am, with an exclusion provided to the The Star Casino.

The move to scrap the laws is in an effort to reinvigorate the capital city’s declining nightlife, which has seen the former entertainment hub become a ‘ghost town’, and the closure of a mass of live music venues, all as the very same behaviour moved to areas outside of the CBD like nearby Newtown.

A joint select committee inquiry established in May looked into the issue of Sydney’s flailing nighttime economy. A parliamentary report is expected at the end of this month.

In a statement, Berejiklian said that there is a need to balance community safety with a strong nighttime economy.

“While we will await the committee’s report, I agree it’s time to enhance Sydney’s nightlife.

“Sydney is Australia’s only global city and we need our nightlife to reflect that. The nighttime economy is a key driver of jobs in our city and we need to do everything we can to strengthen it.

“Community safety will always be a major focus for my Government, but we certainly need a balanced approach.”

Berejiklian also said that the lockout laws could be reintroduced if the removal of the restrictions does not make an impact on the city.

The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research found that non-domestic assaults had dropped 53 per cent in Kings Cross and four per cent in the CBD since the introduction of the lockout laws. But that that benefit was diminishing over time.

Berejiklian is believed to have been influenced by the emergence of newly flourishing Sydney precincts like Barangaroo and Central, as well as an increase in transport options from the CBD, like the soon-to-be-completed light rail to ride-sharing.