Industry bodies have welcomed the long-awaited release of the NSW Government’s 24-Hour Economy Strategy, aimed at reviving Sydney nightlife.
The city will have more accessible late night transport, longer opening hours and fewer restrictions on live music and performances as part of the strategy to develop the city’s 24-hour economy.
Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres said: “COVID-19 has hit the tourism, hospitality and the arts sectors hard. Sydneysiders deserve a global city that’s thriving 24 hours a day and the world wants a 24-hour Sydney.”
NSW Independent Bars Association president, Karl Schlothauer said the plans were an important step in resurrecting Sydney nightlife.
“The 24-Hour Economy Strategy could not come at a more important time for Sydney’s small bars which are still reeling from years of lockout and are now facing the crippling effects of COVID-19,” he said.
“The strategy takes stock of the complexity of creating a sustainable and community-focused nighttime economy and supports a variety of nightlife industries to grow – from small cocktail bars and boutique art exhibitions to music festivals and large scale pop up events.
“The announcement of a Coordinator General to bring together councils, state government agencies and industry will reduce red tape and help improve regulation to create a more diverse and vibrant nightlife.
“The strategy harnesses the creative entrepreneurship shown by small bars and businesses throughout the pandemic by providing an avenue to upscale those concepts and contribute to Sydney’s broader economic recovery.”
Spirits & Cocktails Australia CEO Greg Holland added: “After years of lockout and months of lockdown, the strategy offers a path forward where Sydney’s world-class bars will thrive in a vibrant ecosystem where live music, late night arts and culture and accessible transport are the norm.
“Importantly, the strategy will unlock Sydney’s potential for a $16 billion 24-hour economy, creating jobs and opportunities to expedite the city’s recovery from COVID-19, and see Sydney reclaim its world-class standing.”
Andrew Wilsmore, CEO, Alcohol Beverages Australia, concluded: “The 24-Hour Economy Strategy roadmap is the tonic Sydney wants and needs as we navigate out of COVID-19.
“Our industry, along with so many others, has been hit hard in 2020 yet we know hospitality and retail jobs are the fastest and easiest of nearly any sector to create and get Australians back into work.
“It will be wonderful to see Sydney’s night-time economy broadened and reignited in a way that is consistent with our core message of moderate alcohol consumption while enjoying life.”
Pictured main: Since I Left You in Sydney’s CBD.