Sydneysiders are another step closer to being treated like fully grown adults for the first time in more than five years, with the results of a NSW parliamentary committee report formally recommending that a bunch of the city’s uptight laws around alcohol be “urgently” fucked off.
According to the ABC, the measures that have been ID’d for a long overdue binning include:
- 1.30am lockouts (well, everywhere except in Kings Cross)
- The ban on serving shots, RTDs and strong drinks after midnight
- The ban on serving booze after 3am
- Restrictions on alcohol being served in glass
Yep, the report served up red hot today by The Joint Select Committee on Sydney’s Night Time Economy reckons we should be allowed to enjoy shots after midnight and drink booze after 3am out of a glass if we so choose. Just like our parents did!
Liberal MLC Natalie Ward, who chaired the committee, reckons Sydney could well be haemorrhaging $16 billion worth of economic activity by continuing to press the sleeper hold first enacted on its night-time economy by then-Premier Mike Baird back in 2014.
“The 2014 laws were an appropriate circuit breaker and were successful in reducing violence in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross,” she said. “In addition to the violence dropping, so did the City’s vibrancy and the number of people engaging responsibly in the night time economy”.
“Australia only has one truly global city and that is Sydney,” she continued. “We have the best city, the best harbour and the best offering.”
“Melbourne might think it is in the race, but it absolutely is not, it is Sydney, so it is important that we reflect that in our night-time economy.”
It comes after current Premier Gladys Berejiklian indicated that the city’s lockout laws could soon be shit-canned, with new legislation expected to be tabled to make it official by the end of the year.
However, property developers can breathe a sigh of relief, with both Gladys and the parliamentary committee stopping short of extending the lockout liberation to the once thriving cultural epicentre-turned-upmarket retirement village of Kings Cross for the foreseeable future.
The committee found “the impact of the 2014 laws remains overwhelmingly positive in the Kings Cross precinct”, recommending “the development of a pathway to deconcentrate and diversify the Kings Cross precinct, with a view to a further review of the appropriateness of the 2014 laws in 12 months”.
Still, with an inquiry this year demonstrating the lockouts have not only been completely ineffective at curbing violence, but have also completely cooked the city’s nightlife — leading to the number of under-35s visiting Sydney to drop by a whopping half a million annually and the number of live music venues across the city to be slashed by an insane 50% — we’ll take the small wins where we can get ’em.
Sydney: Episode IV — A New Hope.