The City of Sydney is putting together a panel to tackle lockout law damage

Following the introduction of Sydney’s controversial lockout laws back in 2014, the NSW government has copped its fair share of backlash. The heavy-handed legislation was unprecedented in the city, and many have criticised the complete lack of consultation with those invested in the nighttime economy – musicians, venue owners, the hospitality industry, or basically anyone who goes out at night.

It seems, though, that the City of Sydney – who have long-opposed the lockout laws – is taking a step in the right direction. Today they’ve announced that they will be putting together a Nightlife and Creative Sector Advisory Panel.

Photo: Liam Cameron

The City of Sydney is putting together a nightlife and creative sector panel to address the challenges and opportunities facing Sydney’s nighttime economy, and they want you to join!

As stated on the NSW government website, the panel will provide expert advice on nightlife, and cultural policies and strategies for the City of Sydney. It will also advise on initiatives and correspondence with creative, cultural and nightlife communities.

As Concrete Playground note, the City of Sydney hopes the panel will navigate “the challenges and opportunities facing Sydney’s nighttime economy” to “realise our vision for Sydney as an exciting and diverse 24-hour city” even with the lockout laws in place.

As Sydney lord mayor, Clover Moore says, the City of Sydney can’t do anything to change the lockout laws – that’s up to the NSW government. However, she’s optimistic that the panel will help heal the wounds that the laws have left on Sydney’s nightlife.

“Unfortunately, there is no escaping the fact that the NSW Government’s lockout laws have put the brakes on Sydney’s night-time economy,” she said today in a statement. “We have long maintained it’s possible to have a nightlife that is both safe and vibrant.”

“We will keep advocating for changes to the laws, but in the meantime we need government, business and industry to work together to identify practical ways to boost our night-time culture and support businesses operating in the night-time economy.”

At the moment, The Nightlife and Creative Sector Advisory Panel is taking expressions of interest from people across the nightlife and creative sectors to join the team.

They are currently applications. You can apply before 6pm on Monday, February 26. If this sounds up your alley, find out more here.