It looks like the lockout laws which made Sydney (in)famous may finally be winding down.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that the laws, which prohibit entry into licensed venues after 1.30 am, are expected to be lifted for the CBD, including Oxford Street. However, they are slated to remain in place for Kings Cross.
Sydney’s Lockout Laws are finally set to be lifted across the city’s CBD, however, they will remain in place for Kings Cross.
Introduced back in 2014 after the occurrence of two one-punch deaths in Kings Cross, the laws have been blamed for the drastic decline of Sydney’s culture and nightlife, leading to the closure of almost 200 venues. Earlier this year a parliamentary inquiry into the effectiveness of the lockout laws was established, receiving around 800 submissions from club and bar owners, professional musicians, and health professionals.
With the inquiry due to report to parliament by September 30, preliminary research has indicated the laws have been less than effective. Nearly 500,000 less young people have visited the city each year since they were introduced, indicating that any decline in violence in those areas is the result of no one being around.
The City of Sydney has criticised the laws, claiming they have had “significant negative impacts on Sydney’s cultural life,” with Lord Mayor Clover Moore likening them to using a “sledgehammer to crack a nut”.
Although previously a proponent of the laws, in a recent statement made by Ms Berejiklian, she noted: “Sydney is Australia’s only global city and we need our night-life to reflect that.”
“It’s time to enhance Sydney’s night-life,” Ms Berejiklian acknowledged, “we need to step it up.”
The announcement comes after the laws have slowly been relaxed at various venues around the city including Sydney’s iconic The Lansdowne Hotel.