NSW 24 Hour Economy Commissioner appointed & Kings Cross lockdown laws lifted

February 10, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Michael Rodrigues has been appointed New South Wales’s inaugural 24 Hour Economy Commissioner. Rodrigues will work with Stuart Ayres and NSW Government, industry and local councils to reinvigorate the state’s night time economy.

 Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres said Rodrigues would bring the 24 Hour Economy strategy to life to make Sydney the best place to live, work and play that it can possibly be.

The announcement was made on the same day that the Premier of NSW announced an end to the NSW lockout laws for the Kings Cross entertainment precinct – part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

In lifting the laws, Premier Berejiklian said, while the focus will remain on safety in Kings Cross, the changes will help boost jobs and revitalise a popular area of Sydney.

“The precinct is now well positioned to continue to evolve into a vibrant lifestyle and cultural destination with a diverse mix of small bars, live music venues and restaurants,” she said. 

Of Rodrigues’ appointment, Mr Ayres said: “Our tourism, hospitality and arts sectors have been hit hard by the pandemic, but now we have the opportunity to bring Sydney back better than ever,” Mr Ayres said.

 “The Strategy includes a 24 hour Economy Acceleration Program, through which the Government will work with councils and industry to identify and activate unique and thriving economic hubs across Sydney.

 “Michael Rodrigues as the 24 Hour Economy Commissioner will spearhead the strategy and bring state and local Governments and industry together to create safe and vibrant opportunities for people to enjoy the greatest city in the world.”

Rodrigues, also Chair of the Night Time Industries Association, said he was looking forward to getting down to business.

“I’m excited about the upcoming opportunities and to champion the 24 Hour Economy strategy as we deliver a nightlife that’ll sit alongside New York, London and Tokyo,” Mr Rodrigues said.

“As our city rebuilds from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 24 hour economy strategy is central to NSW’s economic and social recovery. So many industries have had a really tough 12 months, but we are seeing the green shoots of recovery across Sydney and New South Wales.”

 The strategy will focus on driving investment, on job creation and a supporting a diverse field of night time business activity in the CBD and throughout Greater Sydney. The intention is for all nighttime activity to be supported by a safe and reliable transport system.

Rodrigues has worked at the helm of Time Out Magazine for 15 years – described by him on his LinkedIn pages as  “a business dedicated entirely to inspiring people to go out and discover their city. It’s been my life’s work.”

Rodrigues will commence as Commissioner at the end of March.

Photo of Michael Rodrigues taken by Daniel Boud

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