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Committee Recommends An Early Review Of Sydney’s Lockout Laws

As small business and Sydney punters alike continue to fear the end of Sydney’s already ailing nightlife due to the controversial lockout laws, a NSW committee has recommended that the state’s controversial laws be reviewed at the “earliest possible stage”.

Reports Fairfax Media, a NSW legislative inquiry into the lockout laws was held on Thursday where local businesses aired their complaints about how the were adversely affecting them. Citing the impact of the laws on businesses and patrons, the committee suggested an independent review take place a full year earlier than scheduled.

The committee did say that in its view, “the evidence from hospitals, the Police, the City of Sydney and residents [is] that the measures are having the desired effect on violence and anti-social behaviour.”

However, it did recognise that it was possibile that violence and anti-social being was being “displaced” to other areas which did not fall in the lock-out zones. The committee also discussed the sudden renaissance of underground warehouse parties since the lock-out laws were introduced.

A submission from the City of Sydney to the committee’s legislative inquiry, reports Fairfax, stressed that the lockout laws reduce income to musicians and reduce the number of options available to patrons heading out in Sydney at night. The NSW government is due to respond to the review’s recommendations within a month.

At the same time local musicians, venues, and even the Sydney council are pushing to save Sydney’s Kings Cross, whether or not the review prompts a change in the legislation, by turning it into a live music precinct.

The Ignite festival is set to take over Kings Cross this Sunday, with performances across 13 venues, and with it both musicians and the City Of Sydney are aiming to revitalise the precinct as a hub for live music.

“You need to give people a reason to come in at 8pm. If we all sit here waiting for the lockout laws to be lifted we will all go broke,” business owner Ron Creevey told the publication.

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