The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has welcomed the announcement by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian that the NSW Government will be rolling back lockout laws in Sydney’s CBD.
NTIA Chair Michael Rodrigues said: “To say the repeal of the CBD lockouts is welcomed is an understatement.
“This is going to give parts of the city’s nightlife a unique opportunity to work with the community and the Government to rebuild a vibrant and thriving future for our night time in the city area – but the work isn’t done yet.”
“The Government’s inquiry into Sydney’s night time, shed light on many issues, including the reputation damage done to Sydney as a whole, due to how downgraded our nightlife culture has become.
“We’re keenly looking forward to the report from this inquiry due September 30, which we expect will more fully address the suite of reforms needed to unlock the power of Sydney’s night time economy.
“While we will await the committee’s report, I agree it’s time to enhance Sydney’s nightlife,” Berejiklian said in a statement to AAP on Sunday.
“Sydney is Australia’s only global city and we need our nightlife to reflect that.”
“Our concern in the interim remains that as long as lockouts are in place in Kings Cross, Sydney’s global brand reputation will be unnecessarily tarnished,” Rodrigues said.
“There is going to need to be a lot more work done beyond lockouts to restore the perception of Sydney and put the region back on the map as a global destination,” he said.
“Of course Sydney can have a safe and inclusive entertainment culture, that recognises the valid concerns of police and health service providers. But we can do this in a way where we can seize the opportunity to create a thriving nightlife, creating jobs and contributing millions to the economy. If other cities around the world can do it, so can we.”
Kings Cross still under curfew
The Premier said she would not support any changes to restrictions in Kings Cross due to its history of violence.
While she will move to lift the 1.30am rule in the CBD entertainment district, the lockout laws will remain in place for Kings Cross.
There has been an outcry over the lockout laws changes from police, hospitals and the Australian Medical Association.
“I can tell you now that if you increase the trading hours you will see a return to those bad old days,” said David Faktor from St Vincent’s Hospital, which bears the brunt of much of Sydney’s nighttime alcohol-related injuries.
“It’s the doctors and nurses at St Vincent’s who will be left to pick up the pieces.”
He noted that the hospital had not seen one alcohol-related assault death since the laws rolled out.
Meanwhile, Police Association NSW president Tony King said the restrictions had improved public safety, decreasing assaults and crime.
“The statistics are actually showing the night-time economy has diversified and is growing,” he said.”Lets keep it how it is.”