Sydney to scrap ‘lockout’ laws except Kings Cross

  • September 8, 2019

Darling Harbour, Sydney CBD. (Image: NV)

Sydney’s controversial ‘lockout’ laws will be scrapped – NSW government’s move to resuscitate a dying night-time economy. The 1:30am lockouts will be lifted in the CBD entertainment district but will remain in place for Kings Cross.

Introduced in February 2014, the lockout laws were implemented as the city dealt with an increasing amount of alcohol-fuelled violence. As per the legislation, enterprises were required to prevent entries after 1:30 a.m. and stop orders at 3 a.m. While data showed alcohol-related violence decreased, the city’s nightime economy suffered.

Therefore, NSW government has decided to ease upon the lockout laws – with an assurance that community safety will always be a major focus.

The announcement precedes a report due to be released in coming weeks by a joint parliamentary committee into Sydney’s night-time economy. Sharing a brief insight, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in a statement said “it’s time to enhance Sydney’s night-life. Sydney is Australia’s only global city and we need our night-life to reflect that.” Ms Berejiklian said there was a need to reinvigorate the night-time economy for the sake of jobs.

While entreprise owners and workers are jubilant upon hearing the news, the move has been criticised as “premature” by the Keep Sydney Safe campaign which represents emergency service workers in NSW.

Spokesman Tony Sara argues the announcement is concerning, given the committee report has not yet been published and called on Ms Berejiklian to release the findings.