The Keep Sydney Open party has organised a new anti-lockout rally for next week, scheduled to take place on the same day a bill will be tabled at NSW Parliament, calling for the city’s lockout laws to be relaxed.
The rally will take place on Thursday, 25th October, the same day Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MP Robert Borsak’s proposed bill will be taken to parliament.
The exact meeting time for the rally is still to be announced on Facebook, and organisers plan to meet at the top of Martin Place and make the trip to NSW Parliament House.
In a Facebook statement, Robert Borsak criticised the NSW Government for the lockout laws and their effect on Sydney’s nightlife and small business owners.
Borsak said, “The 1:30am lock-outs across the Sydney CBD are killing our city. No other international city of similar standing to Sydney has such a law striking at the heart of its nightlife.
“I’ve lost count of the number of small business owners, residents, and young people who have contacted my office to register their anger at this situation.”
Keep Sydney Open spokesperson Tyson Koh says, “We know there’s been a push to have the lockout laws scrapped from within the government. This is our chance to reinforce at this crucial time how deeply despised these laws are and how they have crippled Sydney.
“The effect on culture, small business and our civil liberties has been undeniable. We feel patronised — like our city has been taken away from us.”
Keep Sydney Open say people feel patronised by the laws, and are sceptical about their effectiveness.
“People look at how the spaces that were once venues are being turned into apartments; they read about the benefits given to the gambling industry and they question the government’s motives for introducing a curfew in the first place.”
The exact details of Robert Borsak’s proposed bill are unknown, so Keep Sydney Open has said it does not fully endorse the bill at this stage, but it still believes that this is an important moment in the campaign.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has reportedly been backing a push for the lockout laws to be scrapped in the Sydney CBD, but not in Kings Cross.