The Keep Sydney Open movement, which has advocated for years to bolster the city’s night-time economy, has officially registered as a state political party.
After a six-month campaign, Keep Sydney Open has met the requirements to register with the New South Wales Electoral Commission, and says it will continue to push for Sydney to become a “24-hour city” while advocating for “a suite of interventions across transport, law enforcement, public health, creative industries, licensing and planning”.
“This is bigger than a rally — way bigger,” says Keep Sydney Open spokesperson Tyson Koh.
“By putting lockout laws on the ballot of next year’s election, people now have a real choice and a course of action to rescind these laws, wind back the ‘nanny state’ and build a 24-hour city.”
Keep Sydney Open plans to contest seats in both houses of parliament at the 2019 New South Wales state election.
Over the last four years, the organisation has held rallies, festival and events to advocate for Sydney’s night-time economy in the wake of the city’s controversial lockout laws.
The group’s advocacy has helped lead to some easing of the lockouts, some pushback in bottle shop closing times and some changes to ‘small bar’ regulations.
“Keep Sydney Open’s supporters were never concerned with lockouts alone,” says Koh.
“Instead, we’ve come together with a common desire to make this the best city it can be. We know that it’s not about what time we can enter a venue, it’s about asking: What city do we want?
“We are the first party in NSW set up to address cultural and youth issues. Young people all over NSW who would ordinarily vote Liberal or Labor are looking at those parties’ policies with bewilderment. We feel cheated, and being locked out of social spaces as well as the housing market has led to a generation of disillusioned young adults.
“We’ve spent over a century organically cultivating social precincts without government interference. The people of Sydney deeply resent their playground being destroyed. We don’t want to be known as a ‘casino city’, and want to address the corrupt governance that’s destroying Sydney.”
To learn more about Keep Sydney Open, head to the organisation’s official website.
Gallery: The Best Signs From The Keep Sydney Open Rally (October 2016)
The Keep Sydney Open Movement Is Now An Official Political Party - Music Feeds