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The NSW Government will scrap the last of the lockout laws in Kings Cross

Shots, cocktails, and drinking out of glass cups after 1:30 am will finally return to Sydney’s Kings Cross after almost seven years of the lockout laws.

The lockout laws were introduced by ex-NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell after two teenagers, Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie, were killed in separate one-punch attacks in the Cross.

As many of us already know, the CBD and Oxford Street have already been free of the laws since January 14 last year, but remained in the once-infamous Kings Cross precinct.

lockout laws

From March 8, venues such as pubs, bars, and nightclubs will again be able to accept patrons after 1:30 am, while the “last drinks” rule will be moved to 3:30 am. “Kings Cross has transformed considerably since these laws were introduced over six years ago,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“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.” 

In the five to six years that Sydney was subject to the laws, the damage done to the nightlife economy was devastatingly irreversible. Not only did an estimated 176 Sydney establishments close their doors – bars, nightclubs, pubs, and live music venues included – but lockout laws cost the Australian economy around $16 billion in lost revenue. Plus Sydney’s reputation as a fun, global city was effectively destroyed.

With the last of the laws finally axed, Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said that the changes would help grow Sydney’s night-time economy and attract diverse businesses to the area. “These measures will help breathe new life into the precinct and enhance Sydney’s reputation as a global city,” he said.

Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres explained that as Sydney “bounces back from COVID-19, it’s an incredibly crucial time to optimise economic growth.

“This is an important step towards implementing our 24-hour economy strategy to ensure Kings Cross flourishes into a vibrant, diverse, inclusive and safe precinct as our city powers ahead with confidence,” Ayres explained.