The NSW Government has today confirmed the State’s controversial lockout laws will be scrapped in Sydney’s CBD from January 14.
The lockout laws were introduced five years ago, following a number of alcohol-fuelled violent deaths and attacks in Sydney.
However, critics have argued that the legislation has hurt Sydney’s nightlife, with bars owners pleading for the Government to lift the lockout.
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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian agreed, announcing on Thursday that she felt now was the right time for change.
“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.”
The changes mean the 1.30am last entry for all venues in the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct, including those on Oxford Street will be removed, restrictions on serving cocktails, shots and drinks in glass after midnight will also be scrapped, while ‘last drinks’ at venues with good records will be extended by 30 minutes.
Bottle shop opening hours across NSW will also be extended until midnight from Monday to Saturday, with 11pm closing on Sunday.
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said an enhanced night time economy would provide a huge boost for tourism.
“It’s time to embrace a 24 hour economy that creates jobs, fosters arts, culture, live performance and safety on our streets,” he said.
“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.
Despite lifting the lockout laws in the CBD, they will remain in place in Kings Cross.
It’s understood the NSW Government will monitor the impact of the changes and conduct a review after 12 months.